Netccentric pursuing potential acquisitions in SME segment market

[ By New Straits Times ]

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia-based Netccentric Ltd (NCL) is pursuing the fast-growing influencer market opportunity and developing new growth drivers through expansion into the small and medium enterprise (SME) segment and the social commerce market.

“We seek continued expansion through social commerce, which we believe was worth RM8.4 trillion in 2019, and expected to double in size by 2024.

“We are in an ideal position, serving large brands, and with our technology and network of influencers set to further increase in line with the growth of social commerce,” NCL executive chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah in a statement today.

“We have also invested substantially in technology, especially in automation to enable scalable growth. We expect that as we grow, we will be able to start seeing more profitability reflected in our bottom line,” he said.

“We made about S$5.23 million (RM16.21 million) in the first half (H1) of 2021. As our second half (2H) has historically been better than our 1H, therefore, based on that run rate, we expect to post a satisfactory set of results this year,” said Ganesh, who was the National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) former chairman.

“NCL is now looking at potential acquisitions to further grow our already strong pipeline, with the aim of making another two to three strategic acquisitions that will make us the leading influencer marketing platform in the region,” he said.

Ganesh was speaking during a Webcast entitled ‘The Insider: Meet the CEOs’ organised by Australia’s Reach Markets recently for the region’s investment community.

NCL is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Billing itself as ‘Asia’s pioneering digital growth ecosystem’, NCL offers social media marketing services to some of the industry’s top influencers.

The company offers solutions in the areas of influencer marketing, social media marketing, performance marketing, video and content creation, social commerce, and digital consultancy.

With over 300 clients and a network spanning 15,000 influencers, NCL prides itself on empowering communities with innovative digital platforms, providing its diverse client base of leading brands with results-focused growth strategies, said Ganesh.

Some household names are already NCL’s existing recurring clients, such as P&G, PepsiCo, KFC, Nivea and AEON.

In 2020, the company launched its live commerce platform to tap into the booming RM55 billion influencer marketing industry.

The company has secured a strong revenue growth of 60 per cent year-on-year (YoY) for H1 of 2021 and boasts a S$3 million (RM9.3 million) business pipeline – up by 88 per cent from last year.

“We made a gross profit of S$2.2 million (RM6.82 million) in H1 2021, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBIDTA) doubled as we grew,” said Ganesh.

There were four key business units that contributed to NCL’s growth.

“Our influencer platform, Nuffnang, contributes the majority of our revenue (57 per cent). We also provide social media management facilities (Sashimi Asia) to our clients, so we not only provide them with influencers, but we also help them manage their social media accounts.

“We then optimise the revenue of our clients through our performance marketing agency P&P (Plata & Punta) that helps convert the awareness that social media generates to revenue. We also provide digital asset production to our clients.

“Our social media agency grew its revenue by 50 per cent, driven by the data analytics and marketing technology that we provide to our clients, and our performance marketing agency grew revenue over 100 per cent, driven by increased media spend from our key e-commerce clients,” he said.

Ganesh states that his aim is to build NCL into Southeast Asia’s largest influencer marketing platform.

“Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing internet economies in the world, and influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing industries within digital marketing in the region.

“Today, for instance, we have the dominant influencer network leadership position in Malaysia, from which we currently operate in two markets, and we have the acquisition pipeline to grow these two markets to between four and six markets within the next 12 – 24 months.

“As we grow across these markets, we are building a centralised technology platform that will incorporate data and insights for influencers throughout the region, combining that with social commerce capabilities that enable our influencers to go from just branding for our clients to selling products,” said Ganesh.

Netccentric Limited