Regional bespoke e-commerce enabler Awake Asia (AAD) is now part of Axiata Group’s subsidiary ADA, and will be collectively known as ADA effective today — an important step towards building an integrated end-to-end e-commerce practice for all brands and retailers in the region.
Prior to the merger, Awake Asia and ADA have collaborated over the last six months. As a result, ADA saw an increased demand for e-commerce enablement across all its clients and has accelerated the acquisition discussion. Bringing in ADA’s expertise in analytics and data-driven digital marketing, Awake Asia’s clients will now gain an edge over their competition through the enhanced AI capabilities for a data-driven approach towards e-commerce.
Established in 2018, ADA’s differentiating factor lies in its proprietary technology IP in data processing, data ingestion, and consumer AI models; gleaned from 375 million consumer profiles on a monthly basis. Serving over 1,300 customers in the region, ADA has seen tremendous growth in its services in designing and executing integrated analytics and data-driven digital marketing solutions.
This merger comes weeks after ADA’s alliance with SoftBank, which saw the latter invest approximately US$60 million to expand and accelerate ADA's analytics, data, and AI digital marketing business in the region. Following the investment, SoftBank will hold 23.07% shareholding of ADA, establishing ADA’s valuation at RM1.07 billion (US$260 million). Axiata Digital Services will remain the majority shareholder of ADA at 63.47%. ADA CEO Srinivas Gattamneni declined to comment on how much of SoftBank's investment will go into the new eCommerce practice, reads the Marketing Interactive article on this merger.
AAD to ADA, what’s changed?
Now ADA’s Vietnam Country Director for e-commerce, former CEO of Awake Asia Kristine Nguyen said she’s thrilled to fill her new role and expand to cater to more regional partners for the Vietnam market. “Nothing much has changed within Awake Asia, I am still leading the e-commerce team and will continue doing what we do best. But overall, now as ADA, we’re bigger with 800 team members and our resources are more extensive. For instance, our new Digital Marketing/Media arm will be in place soon to serve the bigger market where ADA operates.”
Kristine added that the negotiations started last year led by former CEO of Awake Asia, now Chief of E-commerce Enablement of ADA Simon Paterson and ADA’s CEO Srinivas Gattamneni. She also revealed that before the merger took place, Awake Asia needed to leverage other marketing agencies in their projects but with ADA, “we now have 100% control of the creative and digital marketing initiatives.”
“One more thing that unplanned but matched so well is we call Awake Asia (AAD) and now we’re ADA, so convenient,” Kristine shared.
Awake Asia used to operate in six Southeast Asian countries — Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Together, ADA will open up to $100 billion worth of market share in 10 locations with more than 1200 brands across the region, now including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and South Korea. Supporting this is a diverse talent pool of almost 800 data scientists, digital media gurus, industry experts, and e-commerce practitioners.