Intel Capital has announced a fresh investment round of $40 million (Rs 209.24 crore) in 10 different technology companies including the Indian company Hungama.com. The financial details of each individual investment were however, not disclosed.
Earlier, the global advertising major WPP Group had acquired a majority 51% stake in Hungama Digital Services Private Limited, through its wholly owned agency JWT Singapore in June 2012.
Hungama Investors: ICICI Ventures was a principal investor in Hungama in October 2000, but a Forbes India report suggests that ICICI Ventures pulled out funding from the company in October 2009. According the report, ICICI Ventures disbursed only 55% of its total funding before pulling the plug. It also adds that Rakesh Jhunjunwala invested Rs 2 crore in the company, through which the company bought back its stake from ICICI Ventures. Rakesh Jhunjunwala is now believed to be a key shareholder in Hungama and is currently on the company’s board, although an ET report suggested last year that he was planning to exit from his investments in Hungama Mobile.
According to a Rediff report, Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Capital also held a minority stake in the company, back when it was called Virtual Marketing (India) Pvt Ltd. The company was later rebranded as Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd, although it wasn’t clear if the company was just renamed or a new venture was formed.
Launched in 1999, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, Hungama.com’s parent company, currently operates businesses in mobile, gaming, online music retail including Hungama.com, voice services and integrated media. The company claims to have a catalog of over 2.5 million content pieces across various genres and languages in the form of music tracks, movies, music videos and mobile content. This includes a movie catalog over 5,000 full length movies and television titles, acquired through content partnerships with movie studios like Yash Raj Films, T-Series, Reliance Home Video, Ananda Video, Ultra, Shemaroo, Krishna and Kavitalaya.
Hungama also claims to have registered 20 million users for its digital storefront, across various platforms like mobile, tablets, TVs and other connected devices. During the launch of its online movie service in the Middle East, the company had claimed that the service already has over 50,000 paid subscribers from India and hopes to have 10,000 subscribers from the Middle East in the first phase.
Other Investments: Besides Hungama, Intel Capital has also invested in:
– Content sharing platform Box (California, United States)
– Social radio platform Jelli (California, United States)
– Social game developer LIFO Interactive (Korea)
– Mobile proximity platform NeuAer (Los Angeles, United States)
– Mobile payment company PagPop (Brazil)
– Enterprise cloud services company Tier 3 (Washington, United States)
– TV-focused gaming service provider Transmension (China)
– Mobile ad network company UUCUN (China)
– Integrated circuit (IC) design house FocalTech (Taiwan)
Previous Intel Investments: In October 2011, Intel Capital had announced an investment round of $20 million in six Indian companies. Through this investment, it completed investments in Saankhya Labs, Testing Czars and FINO and signed new investment agreements with What’s On India, enStage, and DURON Energy. Similar to today’s investment, the exact financial terms of individual investments were not disclosed.
In May 2011, the investment venture had announced that it had invested $18 million in Indian companies, including investments in new companies PolicyBazaar and healthcare venture, SSARSC, in addition to follow-on investments in Yatra.com, mobile media company July Systems and enterprise application development company WSO2.
* Corrigendum: An earlier version of this post incorrectly mentioned Hungama Digital in the headline. Apologies for the error; the post has been updated.