Sashi Reddi, founder and former chief executive officer of independent software testing company AppLabs, which he sold to Computer Sciences Corporation in 2011, has invested $2.5 million (approximately Rs 16 crore) in Hyderabad-based converged digital entertainment, communication and advertising provider Global Takeoff’s live Internet TV channel streaming platform YuppTV for a 10 per cent stake.
This single-largest investment so far made by Reddi in his personal capacity values YuppTV at $25 million (or around Rs 160 crore). Also, this is the third investment made by the serial entrepreneur in less than a month, with the other two being a Rs 3-crore funding by his Rs 100-crore seed-stage venture fund SRI Capital in quick service restaurant brand Hello Curry in March 6, and $620,000 which he co-invested along with Ronnie Screwvala, Krishnan Ganesh and Anand Ranganathan in global news and crowd-sourcing website Oximity on March 27.
“The funds will be utilised for subscriber and content acquisition,” Uday Reddy, founder and chief executive officer of YuppTV, told mediapersons here on Friday.
With an Alexa ranking of 1,004, YuppTV right now delivers over 170 channels, 5,000-odd daily videos, more than 1,000 movies and live events to the India diaspora across South Asian countries, the US, the UK, Canada and Australia through paid subscription. At present, it offers free-to-air news channels in India.
“India would b our mainstream market now. We are looking at introducing a paid subscription model in India towards the first quarter of next year,” Reddy said.
Global Takeoff claims YuppTV to be the world’s number one over-the-top (Internet TV) platform for Indian content. According to various industry reports, 158 million households used OTT services worldwide in 2013, which is expected to grow to 375 million households (translating into 1.2 billion people) by 2017. In value terms, the global OTT services market is currently pegged at $3 billion, which is projected to touch $8 billion by 2017.
With the investment, Reddi will join the YuppTV board and work closely with Reddy to steer the company towards reaching the $100-million revenue milestone in the next three years. YuppTV witnessed a year-on-year growth of over 100 per cent since the last two years and clocked revenues of $11 million (Rs 70 crore) in 2013.
“Today, there are 30 million Indians living outside the country, of which over three million live in the US alone. Even if we hit a fraction of that, achieving $100 million revenues is quite easy,” Reddi said.