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Bharti Softbank picks up 36.5% stake in ScoopWhoop

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Bharti Softbank (BSB), a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Corp has picked up 36.5% stake in ScoopWhoop Media Private Limited that operates a BuzzFeed-like site Scoopwhoop.

BSB mentions that this stake was picked up through BSB Portal Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of BSY Pte. Ltd which is a joint venture between BSB and Yahoo! JAPAN Corporation. This follows a source-based Quartz India report from Saturday that had suggested this investment, although the report had mentioned that BSB is taking 25% stake in the company for an investment of Rs 10 crore.

BSB is positioning this deal as a partnership wherein ScoopWhoop will create content targeted at Indian youth and BSB will distribute this content over its mobile-optimized technology platform to Indian consumers.

Note that Softbank had also formed a digital content JV with the Hollywood production house and media company Legendary Entertainment last month, that was focused on providing digital content across mobile platforms, particularly in India and China.

Growth of listicle sites

While sites like Indiatimes has been doing traffic generating top ten lists on its site years before BuzzFeed or ScoopWhoop, there has been a significant growth of listicle sites over the past year or so. Earlier in August, US-based social news and entertainment site BuzzFeed had also launched a dedicated Indian edition.

This is possibly due to the growing influence of social on content consumption, driven by the growth of mobiles and tablets. For instance, ScoopWhoop which was launched in August last year, claims to currently have around 8 million uniques and 20 million monthly page views as of now, of which 50% is from smartphones.

It will also be interesting to see how this partnership unfolds in the future. Would we see tailored content from ScoopWhoop on the BSB-backed messaging app Hike?

SoftBank’s recent India investments 

– Snapdeal raises $627 Million from SoftBank Group

– Olacabs secures $210 million led by SoftBank

– SoftBank to invest $10Bn on Indian e-commerce & telecom companies

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