By Narayan Ammachchi
Naranya is gearing up to launch an office in Beijing, as the Mexican mobile e-commerce firm intensifies its search for mobile app makers in the Asian economic giant. This is Naranya’s second office in China, with the first located in Shenzhen, a southern city close to Hong Kong.
Founded in Monterrey in 2002, Naranya offers a platform for app developers and game makers to sell their content to mobile phone users in Latin America. Naranya has embedded its platform onto the the cell phones supplied by the region’s top telecom carriers including America Movil and Millicom.
“We cover as much as 70 percent of mobile consumers in the region,” said Arturo Vélez, Naranya’s business manager in China, in an interview with Nearshore Americas.
He refused to disclose the revenue details of his company. According to his company CEO Arturo Galvan’s statement reported last year, Naranya’s annual revenue increased by an average of 40 percent successively for five years.
“Latin Americans do not readily use their credit cards to purchase mobile entertainment content such as games. That’s why we launched this solution,” Vélez said.
The platform allows mobile users to access Naranya’s app store and purchase or use any content they like. In the following month, carriers bill them for the content they used. Furthermore, it also offers a Paypal-style payment platform that people can use to pay for apps they purchased through the account they have with their mobile phone operator.
According to Vélez, there are no direct competitors for Naranya in the region. The only potential competitor is Google Play, but its apps are limited to Android phones.
“Moreover, Google Play does not have the kind of distribution platform we have,” Vélez said, adding that his app store includes as many as 150,000 apps, some of which are educational games for children gain expertise in science and mathematics.
The company has office in the U.S. Silicon Valley, in addition to Latin America, where it operates 12 offices in countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Naranya’s subsidiary, Naranya Ventures, is incubating technology start-ups in Latin America. Over the past two years, it has funded as many as 15 start-ups, two of which are involved in developing apps for mobile phones.
Naranya injects $40,000 into each start-up it incubates and provides training programs for their employees. Once the start-up stands on its own feet, it will have to give 10 percent stake to Naranya. A majority of start-ups Naranya incubated are in Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay and Guatemala.