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AOL Brings TechCrunch Events To India With PlatformPlay Partnership

Playformplay-TCAOL-owned technology site TechCrunch has partnered with PlatformPlay to bring its series of two-day conferences to India by the end of this year.

PlatformPlay informs that it will be collaborating with the TechCrunch events team to organize the TechCrunch conference series in three Indian cities, starting with Bangalore in November of 2013, followed by Mumbai in April 2014 and in New Delhi in August 2014. The partnership period or the financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.

PlatformPlay informed that these events will feature tech, investor and entrepreneurship speakers, a startup pitch competition and a startup exhibition floor. It also added that the Delhi conference will feature a hackathon alongside product building nights. This format looks quite similar to the TechCrunch Disrupt conference conducted by AOL on a regular basis. However, its currently not clear if these conferences will also be branded as TechCrunch Disrupt or it will feature a new name.

Its worth noting that PlatformPlay founder Rammohan Sundaram had previously co-founded Networkplay which organizes Ad:Tech conferences in India in partnership with dmg events. Sundaram had exited the venture in November 2012, after selling off the venture to Bertelsmann group’s media company Gruner + Jahr in March 2012. In the same month, Sundaram had launched a new company called PlatformPlay which was looking to enable International digital businesses launch in India.

TechCrunch India?

With AOL extending its events business to India, we wonder if the company is also prepping up to setup an Indian edition of TechCrunch in the forthcoming future. We’ve been hearing rumors of TechCrunch launching an Indian editions for quite sometime now, however it hasn’t happened yet.

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We had initially heard that TechCrunch was planning to launch an Asian edition which will focus on China and India, to coincide with its first international Disrupt conference in China in November 2011. But, it didn’t happen. Earlier this year, PandoDaily founder and Former TechCrunch Senior Editor Sarah Lacy had also confirmed that TechCrunch had previously tried to expand its operations (events & editorial) in Asia through China and had also shortlisted potential local partners for this initiative. However, following the CrunchFund controversy surrounding the TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington, several senior members of the TechCrunch team including Arrington left the company and AOL probably dropped its Asia expansion plans.

For the past few months, we’ve been hearing that AOL has now renewed its Asia expansion plans and TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher had told during the recently concluded TechCrunch Bangalore Meetup that “they are currently testing the waters”. TechCrunch community director Drew Olanoff who was in India in March 2013 for the 500 startups’ Geeks On Plane program, also had a similar response.

AOL In India

Previously Aol had shut down of all its properties in India. In March 2011, AOL had fired 400 employees in India, while business processing functions and 300 employees was be transferred to business partners (Mindtree and HP). Shortly after that it had pulled the plug on its India property AOL.in.

However, its worth noting that since Tim Armstrong took over the CEO position at the company, the company had seen a significant focus on the content, with acquisitions of publications like TechCrunch and Huffington Post.

(With Inputs From Vikas SN)

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– Gizmodo India & Lifehacker India Goes Live; Technoholik To Shut Down
Times Internet Partners Business Insider To Launch India Edition
Times Internet Partners Gawker To Offer Indian Editions Of Gizmodo & Lifehacker

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