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Microsoft Picks Up 35 Percent Stake In Oxigen Services; CitiGroup Venture Capital Exits

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has acquired a 35 percent stake in Oxigen Services India, a company that enables aggregation of recharge, bill payments and subscriptions for telecom operators, ISPs, DTH service providers, WorldSpace and Railway and Airline ticketing on a single platform. Prior to the investment, South African co Blue Level Telecom held 50 percent stake in Oxigen; it now holds 35 percent, and from this PTI story, it’s not clear whether Blue Level has sold stake, or the share capital of Oxigen has been expanded. Oxigen also has a pan-India retail network of around 50,000 “touch points” as per its site, which it intends to expand to 250,000. The investment from Microsoft is primarily with the mobile sector in mind. Oxigen plans to launch other services like Insurance, Travel, Cinema , Gaming, Applications and Video content, as well as a virtual wallet – Oxicash. [via release]

Update: Blue Level hasn’t sold any stake in Oxigen, Pramod Saxena, CMD of the Oxigen Group told me. Citigroup Venture Capital International has sold off its 26 percent stake in the company, and post a dilution of capital, Blue Level’s holding has come down to 35 percent. Oxigen employs around 250 people, and their online payment platform has around 7 million transactions a month.

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