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iMedia buys controlling stake in BeautifulNara as it continues acquisition spree

iMedia buys controlling stake in BeautifulNara as it continues acquisition spree

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Digital media company iMedia has acquired a 90% controlling stake in Malay-language portal BeautifulNara, in line with its mission of becoming Malaysia's number one integrated digital media group. As part of the acquisition, iMedia has also signed an exclusive advertising representation agreement with Nara Media. It will be responsible for the acceleration of all revenue across the websites and focus on building its content marketing business, as well as introducing social selling as a new revenue platform.

BeautifulNara is a Malay-language entertainment and social news media and content website that primarily focuses on the latest news on the local entertainment and lifestyle scene, as well as the trendiest stories on celebrities, fashion and travel. Launched in 2013, the website's users are highly engaged and spend an average of four minutes per session, iMedia said quoting SimilarWeb's traffic and engagement statistics. Meanwhile citing Google Analytics, iMedia said BeautifulNara has 9.6 million page views on average and a million users per month between January to September this year.

This acquisition comes about two months after iMedia acquired a controlling stake in websites Goody25 and GoodyMY via Goody Technologies. It is currently also the exclusive sales representation partner for all brands under Goody Technologies. Additionally, it also bought majority stakes in Oh Media, owner and publisher of Malaysia social news portal Oh! Media, and Ittify, owner and operator of social influencer platform ITTIFY in July this year. With the acquisitions, iMedia said its combined network now reaches over 13 million Malaysians.

Voon Tze Khay, CEO and co-founder of iMedia, said the team is excited to welcome BeautifulNara to its fast-growing content and social influencer network. "This acquisition will further strengthen the company’s dominant position in the Malay language content network in Malaysia and our reach to the overall Malay urban youth speaking online community. We will continue to build upon the revenue potential in sponsored content and video advertising that is in line with the rapid  growth in the region’s overall digital advertising spend. We see this as an opportunity for a sustainable solution to generate greater revenue," he added.

CEO and co-founder of BeautifulNara, Shahzeeq, said over the years, the social and digital landscape is constantly evolving, the way users consume content is significantly changing too. "They are now becoming a huge part of the business’s strategies. Voon and his team are a bunch of brilliant people, and definitely a lot of synergy moving forward," he said.

Meanwhile, Nazuwan, director and founder of BeautifulNara, said after 12 years, it is time for him to leave BeautifulNara in the good hands of iMedia. "Who knew, a blog I started for fun became this big and read by millions of Malaysians. There's still so much room for growth and I thank you for all the support, love and help," he said.

iMedia recently announced its own plans to join Bursa Malaysia via its own 100% acquisition by Rev Asia Berhad, currently listed on Bursa Malaysia for approximately RM40 million. Upon approval by regulators and shareholders, the BeautifulNara acquisition will be part of iMedia’s move to Bursa Malaysia.

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