Culture Machine, the digital video company for the internet generation, has raised $18 Mn (Rs 111 Cr) from Tiger Global Management and existing investors Zodius Capital and Times Internet.
The deal is being seen as the largest investment in the multi-channel network (MCN) space in Asia. The funds raised will be used in upgrading its technology play. Culture Machine has a big data technology video platform that helps figuring out audience preferences.
Investors feel that Culture Machine has the right combination of technology and content to build an MCN.
Founded in 2013 by former Disney executive Sameer Pitalwalla and YouTube executive Venkat Prasad, Culture Machine is a startup that builds a network of channels on internet. The technology driven, creator focused media Company combines top online talent with the world’s leading brands. The clientele of Culture Machine includes companies like Johnson & Johnson, P&G, Unilever, Havells and other brands which target the youth demographics of its target audience.
Sameer Pitalwalla, co-founder and CEO, Culture Machine said, “We look forward to build the Star Network of the internet as we already have the largest creator network in India.
Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet, part of the group commented that Sameer has an unparalleled understanding of digital video space and he’s made great progress in the company creating brands.
The investors are betting big on the fact that the TV advertisement market in India is pegged at INR 20K Cr and around 35% of the global YouTube traffic is watched on mobile but the Indian market contributes only 50% to it. Hence, a big potential is seen in this market.
Recently, multi-channel network Famebox got $10 Mn from Malaysia’s Astro Group-backed TTN Ventures while PING Digital Network got angel funding. There are also other active MCNs in India like Nirvana Digital, Homeveda and YoBoHo Network.
Globally, the MCN space has seen multiple deals by large studios, media conglomerates and telcos, with Los Angeles-based Maker Studios being bought by Disney for over $500 Mn in 2014. AT&T and Chernin Group bought Fullscreen in a $200-300 Mn deal as well, while Hearst bought 25% in DreamWorks Animation-owned Awesomeness TV for $81 Mn.