US-based YuppTV which offers Indian TV content to NRIs, has raised $2.5 million from the angel investor Sashi Reddi, reports The Economic Times. Reddi has picked up 10% stake in the company following this investment, thereby valuing YuppTV at $25 million.
YuppTV was founded in 2007 by Uday Nandan Reddy and currently targets the overseas market. It offers a subscription-based live television & video-on-demand service to expats in countries like the US, Europe, Australia, Canada and South Asian countries. YuppTV claims to have five million customers as of now and reported revenues of $11 million in 2013.
The company claims to offer live content from more than 170 Indian television channels and over 600 full length movies to its customers. It offers this content through apps on iPhone, iPad, Android (phone & tablets), personal computers, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Sony & Panasonic), Blu-ray Players, YuppTV dongle, PS3 & PS4 consoles, Google TV, Boxee and WDTV Live among others.
Will it work in India?
In India, it currently offers free-to-air channels to users and plans to extend its subscription-based service next January. In an interview to the Business Standard, Reddy mentions that they will be integrating this product to a set-top-box and pricing it on par with existing cable and DTH tariffs. This will apparently offer live streaming of TV channels, a catch-up TV service which allows users to view TV shows after the original broadcast and an on-demand movie service.
We however wonder whether YuppTV will be able to get customers considering that all DTH players have launched similar offerings for its subscribers. Dish TV had launched DishOnline with its group company Ditto TV last October following which Tata Sky had launched Everywhere TV in the same month. Last month, Airtel had also partnered Digivive to launch Pocket TV for its DTH subscribers. Reliance Jio is also expected to offer Live TV services if and when the company decides to launch its 4G services in the country.
What YuppTV can probably do is partner with MSOs (multi-system operators) to launch a similar offering in the country, although note that Apalya also seems to be going after this market following a strategic investment from Cisco last April. Cisco had then mentioned that it had added Apalya’s “live TV and mobile video capabilities to its Cisco Videoscape architecture by integrating the Video Delivery Platform from Apalya”.