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Cisco Invests In AR Rahman & Shekhar Kapur’s Media Startup Qyuki

Cisco has invested Rs 27 crore ($5.5 million) for 17% stake in the AR Rahman & Shekhar Kapur’s media startup ‘Qyuki‘, reports Economic Times, although a report from The New York Times’s India Ink quotes Kapur stating that the number was incorrect. Kapur refused to disclose any financial details to the site. This is the same venture that Medianama had reported about in November 2010, and a little over a year and a half later, it appears to be ready for launch. We had heard about Cisco’s investment then, but had been unable to confirm it.

At that time, we’d heard that the venture was going to focus on digital content creation in the media and entertainment segment for distribution across various digital platforms like Internet and Mobile; based out of Bengaluru, it is headed by Poonacha Machaiah, who was previously the chairman and CEO of ABOVE Solutions Inc.

The platform, expected to allow the co-creation of creative content and partly crowd source content like lyrics, music etc, is expected to go on this platform, to go live in May, and enable the creation of new films and music albums. Details on how the platform works are pretty sketchy right now. Shekhar Kapur said that they have hired around 25 people into their Bangalore office and according to Qyuki website, they seem to be hiring engineers (Web 2.0 programmers, Java Programmers) as well as artists (Concept Artists, Copywriter, Visual Designer, Pre Vis Artist / Post Animator), suggesting that they intend to create original IP’s for possible content partnerships later.

One thing which is currently not clear is the copyright information i.e. who will hold the rights for the content created? For instance, if I create music or write lyrics on the platform, will I be holding the rights for it or Qyuki will be holding the rights for it, since it was created on their platform. Will revenue for content created collaboratively be shared?

As we have stated earlier, this is not the first digital venture from Shekhar Kapur: He was one of the co-founders of Virgin Comics with Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra, which was later restructured as Liquid Comics, with the exit of the Virgin Group in September 2008. Liquid Comics had recently launched a digital comic books platform called ‘Graphic India‘ which intends to promote comic books and showcase young artists and writers in the country, suggesting their existence as a company.

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