Thursday, June 1, 2017

Video discovery platform PressPlay TV raises funding from SD Ventures

Delhi-based video discovery platform PressPlay TV has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from SD Ventures.

Last year, the startup raised $ 2.2 million from Sequoia Capital and angel investors, including Jason Hirschhorn, Jarett Posner, and Amit Bhatiani. Earlier in August 2014, it had raised $500k in angel round of funding.

The fresh round of fund will help the company expand its hotspot services and accelerate further development of its content discovery and distribution platform.
The inception
PressPlay TV was founded in August 2014 by ex-Zomato employees Anand Sinha and George Abraham. With 150 content partners and channels, it offers movies, TV shows, trending or viral internet videos across news, fashion, comedy and high quality curated content. It has one million monthly active users. Anand said,

Over the last two years, we have been working tirelessly to get the two industries – entertainment & distribution-– married together in a meaningful way. This investment will support our continued growth, as well as the ongoing development of new features and products.

In its statement, the company said that PressPlay TV is aggressively tying up and getting into licensing arrangements with leading developers across genres to increase the depth of their offering from large media houses and production houses to individual content developers, from news channels to stand-up comedians.

The startup has added licensed content from some of the top companies in India which includes Lehren TV, Sun Network, Sony India, and Fever 104. It claims to be one of India’s leading video discovery platform from across more than 100 of India’s top content creators – Bollywood, web series, fashion, food, travel, comedy, Indie music, news and more.

To make the video content easily accessible, PressPlay offers free video content ‘on and off-line’ using a hybrid delivery model. Moreover, to maintain the consistency of broadband across various geographies, PressPlay TV hot spots have been deployed at malls, buses, railway platforms, coffee shops, trains, and other high traffic areas along with online streaming over the internet (3G/4G).

PressPlay TV’s current revenue model is based on advertising. The video ad of the clients comes before the actual video starts. The app is free for users who spend an average time of 45 minutes on PressPlay TV, said Anand. By this fiscal year, the company intends to increase the number of content partners to 500 and users upto 10 million. Ivan Pakhorukov, Investment Director at SD Ventures said,

PressPlay TV has experienced tremendous growth over the last year and is establishing itself as a leading platform for content discovery and distribution in India.

Market opportunity

In her 2016 report, Mary Meeker noted that over the past decade video consumption and evolution has gone from live (TV), On-Demand (Netflix), Semi-Live (Snapchat) to Real-Live (FB Live, Periscope). But there is still a big demand for on-demand content globally and in markets like India where 3G adoption is increasing. Snapchat raised $1.81 billion in May this year.

There are many players in the on-demand market like Eros Now, HOOQ, Spuul, Lukup Media, Hotsar, and some others which are launching this year. Star India has been offering original content on Hotstar since 2015 and had also signed a deal with HBO to stream popular sitcoms like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘True Detective’ in India.

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