Intel Capital has invested an undisclosed amount in Hungama.com that distributes and streams Bollywood & regional movies and music. Investment in Hungama is a part of Intel Capital’s plan to fund $ 40 million across 10 technology startups in India, China and Brazil.
Recently, Hungama announced its global plans and the company has entered the UAE and Singapore markets. Hungama claims to have 20 million users via various touch points and is launching version 2 of Hungama.com on HTML 5 with a freemium model.
From our earlier conversation with Hungama COO, Siddhartha Roy:
Pi: What are the new initiatives in pipeline from Hungama?
SR: We are launching version 2 of Hungama.com on HTML 5 with a Freemium model. The new site will have streaming and download options, and a very cool new feature to discover new music.
Version 2 will be live in the next 2 weeks. In the new version, one would also be able to listen and stream on all iOS platforms like iPhone, iPad and iPod, Android and the Windows 8 platforms, and download on the Android and Windows 8 platforms. The service already exists on Blackberry and Symbian Platform. The new version will have more social connect besides our existing Hungama My Play application, consumers will be able to sign on through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and get social feeds as well. We will offer a freemium model with streaming options with more focus on applications and music on cloud as some of the key features.
Pi: With regards to content Hungama is partial DRM protected and partial is free. What is the strategy behind such a model?
SR: Depending on the subscription pack one chooses, the content provided is either DRM protected or DRM free. We have an unlimited plan for INR 99 which has DRM protected content however the INR 99 for 99 pack gives you each piece of content for Re. 1, which is DRM free. This is thought out to suit every user’s consumption pattern and pocket size.
Pi: Flipkart’s Flyte also offer DRM free content. Why would one want to come to you?
SR: Hungama.com gives consumers DRM protected as well as DRM free content. Our storefront caters to every kind of digital entertainment, music being only one part of the overall offering. The storefront has over 2 and half million pieces of content across genres and languages, in the form of music tracks, movies, music videos & dialogues and mobile content such as ringtones & wallpapers.
A unique feature on Hungama.com is that consumers can access and download the services either on the web or on their mobile through one single sign up, and carry their music wherever they go. Close to 90% of our content consumption is through mobile devices, through our partnerships with telcos and our convenient WAP offering m.hungama.com. This is the biggest opportunity with close to 700 million active mobile subscribers in India. Besides as mentioned earlier, we are the ONLY store front available through various access points like web, mobile, smart TV’s, tablets and all connected devices.
Earlier in 2011, Intel Capital had invested around $18 million in Indian companies, out of which 2 were new deals and 3 were follow-on investments. Last year, Intel Capital had invested $ 9 million in Policybazaar (online insurance aggregator), undisclosed amount in Robotic Surgery Centre (SSARC), a provider of advanced robotic surgery procedures for specialty areas such as cardiac, urology, thoracic, gynaecology etc.
In addition to that Intel had also invested in Telibrahma, a developer of mobile solutions using augmented reality, Bluetooth and WiFi technologies for advertising and retail segments including Yatra, among others.