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Updated: Former Disney India MD (Digital) Samir Bangara Invests In Qyuki; Takes Over As CEO & MD

Update: Qyuki has officially confirmed that Samir Bangara has been appointed as its CEO and Managing Director. He will assume his responsibilities from June 3, 2013.

May 8, 2013: AR Rahman & Shekhar Kapur’s media startup Qyuki has raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from former Disney India MD (Digital) Samir Bangara, reports Gizmodo India. Bangara has confirmed this investment to MediaNama.

What we’ve also heard from sources that Bangara is being brought in as the new CEO of Qyuki, replacing the existing CEO Poonacha Machaiah.

Launched in December 2012, Qyuki aims to offer a platform for artists to share their content, connect to people with similar creative interests, view creations from various other artists, and collaborate with them to create content. Prior to this, Qyuki had raised undisclosed amount of investment from Cisco in February 2012.

The website is currently divided into four main sections namely Creations, Premiers, Community and Inspirations. The Creations section showcases all the content previously uploaded by various artists and experts in a Pinterest-like pinboard format. The site offered a Tumblr-like dashboard for users to upload their creation which can be a film script, a poem, a song, a photo, or a cartoon among others. It also offers an iOS and Android app which allows one to upload content from their mobile phones.

The community section lists all the members and experts registered on the portal. At launch, Qyuki had signed up experts across several creative categories like film making, music, novel writing and photography including Imtiaz Ali, Chetan Bhagat, Ranjit Barot and Suresh Natarajan to provide creative ideas to artists and also collaborate with them in creating new content. However, we noticed that the company hasn’t made any new additions to its experts list since launch and also the existing experts haven’t contributed much with their own creations.

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Marketplace? At launch, Qyuki CEO Poonacha Machaiah had informed Medianama that they plan to launch a creative marketplace in March 2013, to allow users sell and license the content uploaded on the portal on a revenue sharing basis with the uploader. However, it looks like the company hasn’t launched any marketplace on its portal yet.

Besides this, Machaiah had also mentioned that Qyuki had partnered with Rajshri Productions and Siddhartha Basu’s Big Synergy to develop content for distribution across various platforms, however Basu had then noted that the content strategy talks with Qyuki were still in preliminary stages. Its not clear if there has any progress in these talks.

Competition

Tumbhi is an online talent showcase platform which intends to allow aspiring artists create and host multimedia portfolios on the portal and showcase their artistic talent. The portal aims to target artists like aspiring photographers, writers, actors, models, singers, music composers, short-film-makers, lyricists, and poets among others for this initiative.

In October 2011, Reliance Entertainment, the media and entertainment arm of Reliance ADA Group had announced a strategic investment in California(US)-based, Talenthouse, a creative collaboration platform, and the formation of their joint venture, Talenthouse India. The company had stated its plans to focus on nurturing fresh and creative talent in the country and provide relevant collaboration opportunities at international level as well. Balaji Telefilms had also started a media recruitment portal Hoonur.com, which was later relaunched as a social network allowing artists to network among themselves.

K Sera Sera Productions and Rajshri Media also had their own talent search portals  KMediaTalent and RajshriTalent respectively, however it looks both the productions studios have pulled the plug on these, since the domains were parked pages at the time of writing this article.

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Related:
AR Rahman & Shekhar Kapur’s Media Startup Qyuki Goes Live
Cisco Invests In AR Rahman & Shekhar Kapur’s Media Startup Qyuki
Shekhar Kapur & AR Rahman To Launch New Media Venture; Video Content?

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