Celebrity engagement and wishing platform, Wysh, has raised $2 Mn in Series A funding round led by Kalaari Capital. Investment firms IIMK, Gemba Capital also participated in the funding round, along with Wysh’s existing investors Whiteboard Capital, Touchstone Equities and AngelList. With this funding, Wysh plans to strengthen its marketing strategy and bring more celebrities on board.
So far, Wysh has over 50 celebrities from North and South India on its platform. Some of the celebrities listed on the platforms include television actors Arjit Taneja and Kanika Mann; South Indian actor Priyamani and Sree Mukhi. Wysh plans to add over 1000 celebrities —TV and Movie Actors, Singers, Sportsperson and others — by the end of the year.
Darshit Vora, Principal at Kalaari Capital said, “In the age of social media, celebrities also want to open a two-way channel with fans and add on to their following…However, apart from brand endorsements and influencer marketing across social media channels, they really don’t have any other platforms. Hence we believe Wysh is the right product and team to build something valuable to everyone.”
Previously, Gifskey-owned Wysh raised $1 Mn in Pre-Series A funding From Kstart, Whiteboard Capital, WEH Ventures, AngelList and Touchstone Equities.
Launched in December 2019 by Mahesh Gogineni, Varun MS and Manan Maheshwari, Hyderabad-based Wysh is a platform that connects users with their favourite celebrities. Wysh is a two-way engagement that enables fans to get personalised video messages from celebrities by sending a video request.
The users can request for a “Wysh” or the personalised video by placing a request with a message for a celebrity. The user will receive the complete video in their inbox, My Wyshes section. In addition to this, the user will also receive a downloadable video link in their registered email. The video can also be shared or downloaded using the Wysh app.
The personalised video services are not free. Each celebrity sets a price for a personalised video from them. The celebrities can change the prices for their videos at any time, however, the customer will be charged the price that was shown when they make a request.
Founder and CEO of Wysh, Mahesh Gogineni, said, “In India, we love our celebrities and our desire to connect with them and make them part of our lives is unparalleled compared to any other part of the world.”
The Indian media and entertainment industry grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.90% in FY17-18. The sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.10% to touch $39.68 Bn by FY 2023 from $ 22.28 Bn in FY 2018, according to India Brand Equity Foundation. According to DataLabs by Inc42, the media and entertainment sector recorded total funding of at $561.27 Mn in 2019.