Traveling in buses can sometimes be boring and sometimes irritating too. People hardly have choices to choose the type of music they want to listen, and they are often forced to listen to the raunchy music of the bus and obviously its not everyone’s cup of tea to listen such songs. Thus people often look for different modes of entertainment when they travel in buses.
This situation led way for a startup called PressPlay which was started by two ex-Zomato Employees Anand Sinha and George Abraham after they quit their jobs to venture into entrepreneurship. Launched in 2013 with a seed capital of $1Mn, Pressplay use to rent tablets to long-distance bus passengers for a cost of INR 100. They placed over 1,000 such tablets in buses, but as its a bit difficult to scale up with this asset-heavy model, the 35 member strong team pivoted and instead of providing the tablets to the passengers, it now allows them to connect to the wifi using smartphones and stream all the content directly, without any buffering or any data charges. PressPlay’s app comes loaded with about 30 movies, 1,000 songs, and 10 documentaries and cartoons as well.
This Delhi-based travel entertainment startup PressPlay Pvt. Ltd has just raised early stage funding worth $2.2 Mn from Sequoia Capital and a group of angel investors in pre-series A round. The funds would be used to improve services, innovate new products and hire new talent. The starup also in talks to raise a Series A round of funding by the end of this month.
PressPlay has tied up with over eight state transport operators of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh and over 50 private operators, to offer its services. The service comes for free for an hour and then, at INR 10 for the rest of the journey.
It’s available in about 600 buses across 14 cities currently, and has already served over 30,000 passengers. Going forward, the startup plans to reach atleast 10 more cities in the coming six months and get over 10,000 customers using the application on daily basis.
Although PressPlay, at the moment, does not have any competition directly, but, the closest competition that might pose threats to its existence includes the Hotstar app which was launched in February by Star India. The Hotstar app, using the user’s internet data or wifi, allows them to watch television serials, sports and movies on their smartphones free of cost.