Television broadcast network STAR has picked up a minority stake in Bengaluru-based Zapr Media Labs.
“Zapr was in the market to raise $8-10 million and had met a lot of financial investors. However, they did not see the value of the product, which a strategic player like Star discovered,It is truly a product valuation deal, which in terms of revenue multiples, will look insane.”
said an industry source.
Founded in 2012 by IIM Ahmedabad batchmates, Deepak Baid, Sajo Mathews, and Sandipan Mondal, Zapr is a mobile app that aims to monetise by making TV ad viewing interactive. The startup claims to be India’s largest media consumption repository and audience targeting platform.
Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar said,
“In the transition from the broadcast world to the digital world, advertisers got a data bonanza but in the process had to give up the ability to engage consumers who are actually paying attention to what they are saying. Hotstar has the opportunity to build the world’s first platform on digital where consumers are engaged and immersed while at the same time delivering deep audience understanding that allows brands to talk to individuals rather than segments. We believe that we have a shot at creating the world’s premier truly personalised advertising service, which benefits both brands and consumers.”
Sandipan Mondal, co-founder and CEO, Zapr Media Labs said,
“We are excited to partner with Hotstar and Star on our journey to build a world-class media-tech company out of India. Over the past few years, Zapr has grown into one of the world’s largest media consumption repositories and audience cross-targeting platforms and this partnership further reinforces the incredible response we have received from our partners across brands, agencies and broadcasters. We look forward to accelerating the pace of our research & development, growing our product portfolio and building a deeper and long lasting relationship with the larger media and advertising industry.”
Zapr has built an analytics platform that combines this proprietary understanding with enriched data that allows advertisers to use it for sharper audience targeting and analysis. Zapr enjoys a strong foothold in the analytics space and as part of the next stage of growth, plans to invest further in R&D and grow the team across cross-platform data sciences, analytics and product management.
For Hotstar, the partnership signals a clear intent to evolve from a media startup to a full-fledged technology and analytics company that shapes the next wave of mobile usage and advertising in India. With more than 60 million users in the month of January and a sharp uptick in user growth in the last few months, the platform already boasts of some of the highest daily engagement amongst its followers. The announcement is a big step in the direction of becoming the world’s premier personalized advertising service.