BSE listed IPTV company Aksh Optifibre plans to raise upto $20 million on a private placement basis. The fund will be utilised by the company to drastically improve their subscriber base from a meagre 35,000 subscribers in 22 cities in North India and Mumbai to 650,000 by March 2013. The fundraising will be subject to Aksh receiving proposals for investment, and the transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals from SEBI, DOT and TRAI.

Last quarter, Aksh Optifibre reported an EBIT loss of Rs. 81.58 million, and the company has been in investment mode, investing around Rs. 3861 million in capital investment and revenues of jus Rs. 32.09 million over the last three quarters.

In an interview with MediaNama in June, Aksh Optifibre MD Dr. Kailash Choudhuri had told MediaNama that the company was looking to raise $10-15 million; it looks like their need for funds have increased. For the current fiscal year 2009-10 the company has set a target of 80,000 subscribers for IPTV and 25,000 for their VoIP services. Aksh is a franchisee for BSNL and MTNL for two services: iControl IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), Pigeon VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service. MyWay (Smart Digivision, related to the HFCL Group) is also competing with Aksh, and with Bharti Airtel also having entered the IPTV space, Aksh will need money to compete.

aksh financials

Choudhuri had told MediaNama then that the company is looking at Advertising as a key revenue stream, rather than subscription: the company claims that their major source of revenue will be from advertisement via A-Tube (video advertisement service) once their customer base reaches 50,000 customers. Thus, it is imperative that the company needs to raise its customer base from 35,000 subscribers.

In the first quarter Aksh’s ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) was just Rs. 150. In additon to that low revenue generated in the first quarter of this fiscal year may possibly be due to no fees charged to attract customers in new regoins. The figures might improve once these customers eventually start paying for the services. The other problem that may create difficulty in improving the customer base so states the company is the working between them and MTNL.

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