Gurugram-headquartered video entertainment app Roposo has raised $10 Mn (INR 72 Cr) in a fresh funding round from existing investors Tiger Global and Bertelsmann India Investments.
Talking to Inc42, Roposo CEO and cofounder Mayank Bhangadia said that the fresh funds would “help us hire new talent for machine learning for personalisation, to build good content creation tools, marketing and get prepared for a much larger round in the following months.”
Founded in 2014 by Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena, and Kaushal Shubhank, Roposo started out as a fashion discovery platform that employed a proprietary recommendation engine to match shoppers with each other. The company fared well as it raised $21 Mn in funding from Tiger Global, India Quotient, Flipkart founder Binny Bansal, and others till 2016. It had 2.5 Mn users onboard in June 2016.
However, in August 2017, the company changed its business model to a short-video application as it expanded its portfolio choices. Roposo rebooted as ‘TV By The People’ and continued to grow marginally; it claims to have recorded 75X growth in its daily active user base since then.
Roposo To ‘TV By The People’: Playing On Its Strengths
Roposo offers a TV-like browsing experience with more than 25 interest-based channels in 10 vernacular languages and advanced, high-quality video creation tools. The app reaches 25 Mn users and boasts of generating 250K user-generated video posts and 160 Mn video views in a day.
Talking to Inc42 about the transition of Roposo to ‘TV By The People’, Rohit Sood, Principal, Bertelsmann India Investments, said, “given the engagement on the platform, the transactions were decreased over time and the focus was shifted to the media elements of the business, which were performing very well.”
Explaining the overhaul, Sood said that the company had built content creating capability, social features (sharing content, commenting etc), and ecommerce was the monetisation model. However, it could not work its monetisation model due to competition from the likes of Myntra.
“So, the company overhauled, and reduced the transaction element from the website and encouraged more engagement on the platform, knowing what is working well. It was a bold call which the founders took and brought handsome dividends,” he added.
Bhangadia told Inc42 that the team is continuously improving the product and it has seen good growth. He claimed that 30% of its users create content on the app. Roposo has extensive plans to enter the micro markets of India and build its resources for an aggressive game in the coming months.
Video Grabbing The Eyeballs
With the proliferation of smartphones and Indians becoming digital savvy, content consumption in general and video consumption, in particular, has been on the upswing. According to a FICCI-EY report, 250 Mn people viewed videos online in 2017 and the number is expected to double to 500 Mn by 2020.
A BCG report entitled ‘Entertainment Goes Online’ said that over the top (OTT) content — video content delivered through the internet — is expected to reach a market size of $5 Bn (INR 35,730 Cr) by 2023.
The trend is receiving a further boost with government programmes such as Digital India and operators like Reliance JIO and Airtel, among others, providing low-cost data plans. In such a scenario, pivoting to a video entertainment platform may just pan out to be a smart move for Roposo.