brown-paper-bagIndia Webportal Private Ltd*, which owns and operates websites like India.comBGR IndiaCricket Country, among others, acquired 26% in Idea Web Shop and Media Private Limited, which owns and operates the website Bpbweekend.com (Brown Paper Bag), during the financial year ended 31st March 2014. Brown Paper Bag offers readers curated information on events, product launches, restaurants and things to do, and also has a loyalty card offering called The Coup Card. We had covered the business model of the Coup Card in detail here.

The acquisition has been disclosed by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) in its annual report, because this makes Idea Shop an associate company for ZEEL. ZEEL owns 51% in India Webportal. The annual report states: “Further, India Webportal Pvt Ltd., the digital media arm and an Indian subsidiary of the Company which owns www.india.com acquired equity stake in Idea Shop & Web Pvt Ltd., an entity which manages a web-portal www.bpbweekend.com.” Previous ZEEL annual reports make no mention of Idea Web Shop and Media (or Idea Shop & Web Pvt Ltd).

While ZEEL hasn’t disclosed specific financial results for Idea Web Shop, the results do mention the following:

– “Share of results in Aplab Limited and Idea Web Shop and Media Private Limited as Associate Company is profit of Rs 2 Million in FY 2014 as against loss of Rs 10 Million in FY 2013.”
– Investments at year end includes investment in equity of Aplab Limited Rs/millions 42 (40), Idea Web Shop and Media Private Limited Rs/millions 9 (Nil), Essel Propack Limited Rs/millions 2 (2).

India.com reported revenues of Rs 27.9 crore for the financial year ended 31st March 2014 (FY14), up 81.17% from Rs 15.4 crore reported last fiscal (FY13). More on its results here.

Mirriad investment

During the year, the ZEEL also acquired “172,413,793 number of ordinary shares (extent of holding 17%) of GBP 0.01 each of Mirriad Limited, engaged in the business of delivering embedded advertising into video streams and virtual product placement.” It invested Rs 27.4 crore in the venture. More on the investment here.

*Disclosure: India.com is an advertiser with MediaNama