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ACK Media Raises Funding From Future Ventures, Elephant Capital; Plans Amusement Park

ACK Media, the company that owns the mythological content business Amar Chitra Katha, along with other children focussed ventures, has raised Rs 37 crore from Future Ventures for a 26% stake in the company, reports Financial Chronicle. Existing investor, Elephant Capital also participated in the funding round and has issued a statement confirming that it has made a follow on investment of Rs 6.5 crore (GBP 0.9 million) in addition to Rs 97.8 lakh (GBP 135,000) from its co-investment vehicle. Elephant Capital’s stake in the company now stands at 26.1%.

Last year, there were reports indicating that the Future Group was eying a 40% stake in ACK Media and planning to set up a theme park modeled on Disneyland. ACK Media COO Ashish Goel had told MediaNama that the company has plans to raise over Rs. 100 crore. They also acquired India Book House, which was apparently profitable for the quarter ended 30th June 2010, according a statement Elephant Capital in it’s preliminary results for the 31st August 2010.

This will be the second round of funding for ACK Media. The company had previously raised around Rs 27.4 crore (GBP 4 million) from Elephant Capital through its subsidiary and co-investment vehicles, in June 2010 for a minority stake sale.This amount also included a personal investment of  Rs 2.17 crore  (GBP 0.3 million) from Elephant Capital’s Managing Partner, Gaurav Burman. With the funding, Elephant Capital had acquired an equity stake of 25.50% in ACK.

Recent Developments at ACK Media

According to Elephant Capital’s Quarterly Newsletter, the following developments took place at ACK Media after the investment:

– ACK launched a new book on Mother Theresa, to coincide with her 100th birth anniversary. Aimed at 8-14 yr olds, it was also to be made available on iPhone and Amazon Kindle as a mobile comic. (ED: We checked on the iPhone, and it is available)
– Other launches included hardback books to accompany the Karadi Tales audio books, a new ACK Junior series, and “Brainwave” a monthly science magazine, targeting 8-13 year olds.
– Home video catalogue was expanded, with 10 new titles of Karadi Tales and ACK stories for 8+ year olds, and with Hindi titles added
– The second series of the ACK TV show was to be aired on Cartoon Network, and ACK was in discussions with children’s channels for a season two of Karadi Tales; season 1 of the “Suppandi” TV show was also in production.
– ACK test launched a programme to increase children’s emotional intelligence by the telling of ACK classics in a workshop format
– “Tripura – The Three Cities of Maya” was slated to air on Cartoon Network in early 2011.

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Financial Chronicle adds that the company intends to enter the theme park business and cites a top official who informs that the company is considering the launch of a Disneyland like theme park in Chennai at a cost of Rs35-40 crore. But then we’ve read reports (source) in the past from ACK Media, quoting Patil as saying that ACK plans to launch a TV Channel. That hasn’t happened so far.

Founded in 2007, ACK has a catalogue of over 500 print and 100 digital products, and 25 proprietary characters, with brands including “Amar Chitra Katha”, which has around 450 titles; “Tinkle”, a children’s magazine with 500 issues and a circulation of around 125,000 per month; Karadi Tales, an acquisition in the audio and video content for pre-school children space, with over 50 titles. ACK has been looking to expand its content to TV, Film, Home Video,Merchandise and school programmes, and has studios in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai that develop new content.

Future Group May Acquire Over 40% In Amar Chitra Katha: Report
Amar Chitra Katha Raises GBP 4 Million From Elephant Capital & Related Entities

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