Monday, April 04, 2016

Xiaomi leads $25 mn funding in Hungama


Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has made its first investment in India today by leading a funding of $25 million in Hungama Digital Media Entertainment. The funding round included other existing investors like Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.

Xiaomi will soon start integrating Hungama’s content services into its platforms, which will also include themes and ringtones. The penetration of 4G on mobile networks in India is expected to fuel demand for digital content with new players like Reliance Jio and BSNL coming forward with their services.

Hungama has a library of 8,000 movies in Indian languages and over 65 million monthly users across its music, video and movie platforms. It has 8000 movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi and six other Indian regional languages on its platform. Xiaomi did not say when it plans to launch the integration with Hungama.

Hugo Barra, Vice President, Xiaomi, said,Xiaomi has been an Internet company from the very start. We think of smartphones as a platform for us to deliver Internet services, and this includes content. As our user base in India grows and as 4G penetration in India continues picking up, we will start to see more and more consumption of digital media through Xiaomi devices. We are investing in Hungama not only to start integrating content into our smartphones, but also to grow together with them and deepen our understanding of the content sector in India. We have carefully selected Hungama because of what they are doing in terms of aggregating large amounts of content and delivering an amazing user experience.

Neeraj Roy, Founder and CEO, Hungama, said. We are very excited to be partnering with Xiaomi, as we are extremely aligned in the way we see digital media becoming mainstream on mobile devices. Xiaomi has a very engaged community of fans, which we believe will benefit from the fabulous and immense repertoire from Hungama’s content services. With this investment, we intend to further strengthen our movie and TV services and in fact, Hungama Play will shortly add 1500 hours of TV content in Indian languages and English.

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