Digital News Asia: MOL deepens its presence in North and Latin America
MOL deepens its presence in North and Latin America
Karamjit Singh, Sep 24, 2013
- Launches MOLPoints in US and Brazil in partnership with Silicon Valley subsidiary Rixty
- Expects revenue for 2013 to be around US$312mil, up from US$234mil last year
(L-R): Rixty CEO Ted Sorom; Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak; and MOL Global group CEO Ganesh Kumar Bangah after the announcement in Silicon Valley.
BUILDING on its acquisition of Silicon Valley-based alternative payment platform provider Rixty Inc, MOL AccessPortal Sdn Bhd has launched the MOLPoints online game and digital goods payment platform in the United States and Brazil.
In the process of acquiring a majority stake in Rixty, MOL became the first Asian e-payment service provider to acquire a North American e-payments platform. The launch of its MOLPoints is the first step in leveraging on that acquisition.
MOLPoints will be distributed across Rixty’s distribution channels of over 140,000 stores in the United States and Brazil, including thousands of ‘mom-and-pop’ stores across the latter.
“This expansion was already planned during our acquisition of Rixty last October,” said MOL Global Pte Ltd group chief executive officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah when asked if the launch was done to coincide with the ‘experiential visit’ of a high-powered Malaysian contingent to Silicon Valley, led by Prime Minister Najib Razak and organised by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).
“We don’t rush things and I certainly do not run my business on timing our announcements,” he emphasised.
MDeC, the national ICT custodian which manages the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC Malaysia) project, is heading the Malaysian delegation that is supposed to be meeting with Silicon Valley movers and shakers as part of MSC Malaysia’s annual International Advisory Panel (IAP) discussions.
Meanwhile, besides Rixty, MOL, a subsidiary of MOL Global, has also made investments into leading digital goods and online game payment platforms in markets such as Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia in the past 12 months.
“But I have stopped my shopping for a while,” said Ganesh, who added that MOL is unique in the sense that it has a good track record of growing organically, and via acquisitions which have accelerated that growth.
He expects no less of the Rixty acquisition. “This year we should hit or be close to US$312 million (RM1 billion) in gross revenue.”
Last year MOL hit around US$234 million (RM750 million) in gross revenue.
Meanwhile Rixty’s revenue in the United States and Brazil is accelerating, said Ganesh. The United States saw growth of around 20% over the preceding month while in Brazil it was over 50%, he claimed.
Acknowledging that MOLPoints has little brand recognition in the North American market, Ganesh pointed to the company’s partnership-driven model as the key to getting quick market recognition.
Basically MOL helps market the online games of those publishers it has a commercial relationship with, while at the same time, those publishers also promote MOLPoints to their users.
According to Ganesh, there is a flat revenue share with the game publishers. He declined to reveal the portion.
“That’s how we did it in South-East Asia too, and we will replicate that in North America by partnering with game publishers,” he added.
MOL claims its proprietary MOLPoints micropayment system as one of the world’s leading digital goods and online game payment platforms, which helps collect payments for over 2,000 online games from over 300 game publishers including Facebook, Electronic Arts and Blizzard.
The launch of MOLPoints in the United States and Brazil marks the consolidation of Rixty into MOL’s global operations and will enable MOL’s suite of games to be distributed through Rixty’s distribution channels.
This will allow local Asian content to tap into the huge digital goods market that is estimated to be worth US$19.2 billion worldwide.
Rixty presently has offices in San Francisco, California and São Paulo, Brazil. It is also expanding into Canada and Mexico this quarter.