Novi Digital Entertainment, which owns and operates OTT video streaming platform Hotstar, has received around $153 million (Rs. 1,066 crores). The funding comes from the company’s parent firms — Start India and Star US Holdings.
According to multiple reports which are based on the company’s documents filing, Star India has invested Rs. 832 crore and the balance came from Star US Holdings. Hotstar will be spending the newly raised capital to leverage India’s cricket fans as well as bring original content on its platform.
For the first time globally, it will be offering ad targeting for 24 different cohorts during upcoming VIVO IPL. Additionally, through contextual branded cards showcasing offers, mini-games, and polls, brands have been provided with a unique opportunity to engage viewers at scale during a live game.
Earlier this month, Hotstar announced a partnership with Aditya Birla Group’s content studio Applause Entertainment to unveil its first slate of five originals, which are set to debut later this month.
Prior to this funding round, the company had received Rs. 516 crore from Star India in August 2018 at a valuation of $265 million.
Hotstar, launched in 2015, is one of India’s premium streaming platform with more than 100,000 hours of shows and movies in 18 languages and coverage of prime global sporting events. It claims to have more than 350 million downloads and over 150 million monthly active users.
In India, the company competes against the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix, which are currently dominating the consumer segment in India. It also faces competition from Voot, Zee5, Arre, SonyLIV, ALT Balaji, EROS Now and YouTube Originals among others.