Deal Street: Tencent Enters India’s Video Streaming Space With $110-Million Investment
Your weekly wrap of all startup funding deals. (Source: BloombergQuint)

Deal Street: Tencent Enters India’s Video Streaming Space With $110-Million Investment

Five Indian startups raised $188 million (about Rs 1,300 crore) in venture capital funding last week across sectors such as video-streaming and logistics.

Mumbai-based startups led the funding charts in terms of overall deal size.

MX Player Raises $110.8 Million In Fresh Funding

A sticker featuring the logo of Tencent Holdings Ltd. is seen during a news conference in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg)
A sticker featuring the logo of Tencent Holdings Ltd. is seen during a news conference in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg)

China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. has entered the Indian video streaming market by infusing $110.8 million (about Rs 786.5 crore) in MX Player, joining over three dozen local and global players that are fighting to grab a slice of the market.

MX Player, now owned by Times Internet, will use the funds to enhance its content portfolio by producing more original programming, expanding to other genres and increasing its talent pool, Chief Executive Officer Karan Bedi told BloombergQuint in an interview. Bedi said 20 more originals are slated to be produced in six months.

This is the first investment in the video streaming platform since it was acquired last year by Times Internet, a unit of the Indian media conglomerate Bennett Coleman & Co. Times Internet also participated in the latest funding, Bedi said. The deal values MX Player at around $500 million, according to a person privy to the development who declined to be named as details aren’t public.

The Indian market for video streaming is expected to grow to $1.7 billion by 2023, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. With nearly 175 million users out of its 275 million user base in India, MX Player competes with the likes of Netflix Inc., Inc.’s Prime Video and Hotstar, owned by Walt Disney Co.

Apple Inc. recently launched its streaming services in the country.

WATCH | MX Player Gets $110.8 Million From Tencent, Others

Logistics Startup Bags $40 million In Funding Led By Prosus Ventures

Logistics and distribution firm ElasticRun raised $40 million (around Rs 284 crore) in a funding round led by Prosus Ventures, formerly known as Naspers Ventures.

Existing investors Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round, the company said in a statement. ElasticRun said it will use the funds to expand its services and expand into various categories, apart from boosting its technological infrastructure, analytics and machine learning platforms.

Founded in 2016, the technology platform help firms eliminate fixed setup costs by aggregating resources across channels. It presently has clients in e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, food and automotive sectors.

Smartworks Raises Funds From Singapore Conglomerate

Keppel Land Ltd., the property arm of Singapore-based business group Keppel Corp., has invested $25 million (Rs 177 crore) in co-working space provider Smartworks.

The investment will help it to expand business across Tier-I and Tier-II cities, Smartworks said in a statement. The investment would also enable the Singapore-based realtor to enter one of the world’s fastest-growing flexible office market.

“There are also many opportunities for cross-learning and collaboration between Smartworks and Keppel Land’s smart serviced co-office platform, KLOUD, which currently has a presence in Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar,” Tan Swee Yiow, chief executive officer of Keppel Land, said in a statement.

Founded in 2016, with about 23 operational centres comprising about 43,000 work stations in nine Indian cities, Smartworks caters to large enterprises and high-growth startups.

Other Startup Funding News

  • Agri-tech startup Fasal raised $1.6 million (Rs 11 crore) in its seed round of funding led by impact investor Omnivore and early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners, the company said in a statement. Other investors who participated in the funding include Mount Parker Ventures, Hong Kong-based Animoca and Japan’s Mistletoe.
  • Bengaluru-based wealth management app Fisdom raised $11 million (Rs 78 crore) in a round led by fintech and payments company PayU, the company said in a statement. Existing investors Saama Capital and Quona Capital also participated in the round.
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