Planet GoGo, a lock screen/news snippets app, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from HT Media’s subsidiary HT Digital Media Holdings and North Base Media (NBM). The startup will use the funding for gaining new users.
Founded in September this year, Planet GoGo launched its Android app last month. Rather than just unlock, the app lets users read the latest news on the lock screen without unlocking. Users can swipe through to read more stories, or swipe the unlock button to get to their home screens. As of now the app claims to have 42 content sources although it does not clarify which these sources are.
Interestingly the app also gives reward points for reading stories and unlocking the phone. These points can be then accumulated over time to buy talktime recharges with Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel, BSNL, Tata Indicom, Uninor and Videocon among other operators. However, the app doesn’t seem to be quite polished yet, as most negative ratings it received in the Play Store complained about being unable to redeem these points.
DealStreatAsia investment: Last week, DealStreetAsia, a digital media platform based in Singapore, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from various investors including HT Media. At the time, the media agency said it would share share content and resources across Singapore and India from the Mint and vice versa.
MediaHack: Interestingly, HT Media had launched an accelerator program called MediaHack in partnership with media investment firm North Base Media (NBM), specifically for early-stage startups in the media entertainment and content segment. At the time, HT Media CEO Rajiv Verma told MediaNama that “I see HT Media playing a role from the early evaluation of the idea to helping the entrepreneur refine the idea to then mentoring it as well as providing whatever resources and limited capital that might be required in the early stages, and then finally connecting the idea to the marketplace.”
MediaNama’s Take: With this investment, we wonder if HT Media will also provide content for Planet GoGo. That would make sense for both companies; HT Media can display news from its properties to more users, while Planet GoGo will get much needed content to be more useful. As it stands, the app currently has poor ratings in the Play Store (3.3 stars), for bad implementation of its points system and the lack of any useful content.