Pan-Asian media and entertainment platform Emerald Media, established by Hong Kong HQed PE firm KKR & Co., has today picked up a minority stake in YuppTV for a whopping $50 million. YuppTV is an over-the-top video service that provides Indian regional content, such as live TV, 898+ TV Channels and movies on-demand, for South Asian viewers in 14 languages across the globe.
The business model of the 10-year old company is quite similar to the wildly popular Netflix, as it also enables users to stream content over the Internet, without the need for a set-top box. But, the department it lacks in is the availablity of original content, something which Netflix has greatly excelled at over the past years. It is now also working to bring on-board and produce more regional content for the Indian audience in the form of ‘Sacred Games’ and ‘Vir Das comedy special’.
The fresh influx of funds will enable YuppTV to further expand its global footprint, while also working on expanding its content library. The company is looking to do so through original productions and acquisition of production houses, and rapidly grow upon its paid subscriber userbase as well. It has also partnered with LeEco, who has injected $200 million into content development, to work upon expansion of regional content on the platform over the next 2-3 years.
Commenting on the latest funding round, Rajesh Kamat, MD of Emerald Media, said,
Emerald Media believes in driving change and value-creation by providing a distinctive combination of capital, domain knowledge and management bandwidth. The world is moving from traditional consumption to multiscreen delivery mediums. YuppTV provides a unique combination of technology, strong content relationships and revenues of scale and will be an anchor to our vision of building a new age media company.
YuppTV was founded by Uday Reddy in 2006, with the vision to develop a pioneering web-based portal that gave access to information, communication and entertainment anytime and anywhere. That vision had now seen the day of light as the platform now reaches more than 400 million households, and sees over 5 million users access YuppTV across a multitude of integrated devices. It currently offers 250+ South Asian TV channels, 5000+ movies and 100+ TV shows to worldwide audiences.
Commenting on the infusion of fresh funds into his company, Uday Reddy, founder and CEO of YuppTV, said,
We couldn’t ask for a stronger partner than Emerald Media. YuppTV is a content distribution platform with a strong consumer connection, and Emerald Media has global media relationships. We hope to leverage their relationships and existing assets Endemol, OML, Fluence and Graphic India to create original programming and make this platform a next generation distribution and content powerhouse.
YuppTV is headqurtered in Atlanta, and has raised $5 million in venture funding from Poarch Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama last year. It currently has over 10 million mobile app downloads, in addition to the 50 million pre-installs on Samsung and LG TVs. The company has recently also launched its on-demand movie streaming service, YuppFlix.