Television broadcast network STAR has picked up a minority stake in Bengaluru-based Zapr Media Labs. With this move, Hotstar and Zapr have announced a partnership, wherein the two companies will work together to create a deep understanding of mobile audiences that can be leveraged by brands to create personalised communication and offers.

As per an ET report the investment is about $8 Mn – as part of a primary and secondary investment by Star.

Talking about the development, Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar said, “In the transition from the broadcast world to the digital world, advertisers got a data bonanza but in the process had to give up the ability to engage consumers who are actually paying attention to what they are saying. Hotstar has the opportunity to build the world’s first platform on digital where consumers are engaged and immersed while at the same time delivering deep audience understanding that allows brands to talk to individuals rather than segments. We believe that we have a shot at creating the world’s premier truly personalised advertising service, which benefits both brands and consumers.”

Founded in 2012 by IIM Ahmedabad batchmates, Deepak Baid, Sajo Mathews, and Sandipan Mondal, Zapr is a mobile app that aims to monetise by making TV ad viewing interactive. The startup claims to be India’s largest media consumption repository and audience targeting platform.

In January 2016, Zapr raised a round of funding from Flipkart, Saavn, Micromax and Ambiga Dhiraj (co-founder of Mu Sigma). It is backed by Rajesh Sawhney, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Arihant Patni, among others.

Zapr’s proprietary technology platform analyses television viewership across 600+ channels in India and provides targeted digital analytics and insight into offline consumption behaviour. For Hotstar, the partnership entails evolving from a media startup to a full-fledged technology and analytics company.

As per an IBEF report, the Indian media & entertainment sector is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.3% to touch $33.7 Bn by 2020. STAR India is a fully-owned subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. It is one of the leading media conglomerates, reaching approximately 650 Mn viewers a month across India and more than 100 other countries. It generates 20,000 hours of content every year and broadcasts 50+ channels in 8 different languages, reaching 9 out of 10 C&S TV homes in India. In July 2016, Delhi-based data science and analytics startup Sagacito Technologies raised close to $10 Mn from STAR India.

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