GAMELOFT

Voda Buys ZYB for 25 million

David Murphy

Vodafone has agreed a deal to acquire 100% of ZYB, the privately-owned Danish company that operates a social networking and online management tool enabling mobile phone users to back-up and share their handsets contact and calendar information online. Vodafone Europe BV, a holding company of Vodafone Group is paying €31.5 million (£25 million) for the company.

Vodafone says the acquisition of ZYB is a further advance in the implementation of its Total Communications strategy, which the company says is delivering new revenue growth around fixed broadband, mobile advertising and a rich set of Internet services that integrate the mobile and PC customer experience. Vodafone says that ZYB fits into this strategy by enhancing the range of communications services the network operator can provide to its customers.

ZYB is designed with the mobile device at its heart, allowing customers to share information and messages between their friends and colleagues who are held in their mobile phones address book. It enables users to send messages and images from their PC to multiple mobile devices in their mobile community, as well as taking advantage of the functionality of an instant messaging service.

"Vodafone understands that the core of any customers personal and business network is the set of contacts they hold on their mobile phone," says Vodafone Group Internet Services Director, Pieter Knook. "Using a web portal as a link between the PC and the mobile device, ZYB provides an interactive way for people to nurture, contact and develop their relationships with their most important friends and colleagues and builds links with those contacts wider networks. This is Web 2.0 in action."

ZYB will remain based in Denmark and upon acquisition, will be incorporated into Vodafone's Internet Services Division.

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