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PressPlay appoints Rajesh Vashista as new CTO


Travel entertainment startup PressPlay TV has appointed Rajesh Vashista as its new CTO. In his new role, Rajesh will be responsible for driving innovations in apps/products and processes at PressPlay.

Rajesh has more than 18 years in multiple domains like Telecom (VAS), Mobile (Apps), Web Technologies, Media, and Content Management. Prior to PressPlay, Rajesh was the Senior Director of Technology at Woo where he led the firm’s product development in terms of its back end and User Interface.

PressPlay was founded in December 2013 by Anand Sinha and George Abraham, former national head of sales at Zomato UAE and sales head at Zomato India, respectively.

VOD through Wi-Fi networks: PressPlay installs its own free Wi-Fi hotspots in trains, cabs and buses; a user can connect to the Wi-FI network and browse through the on-demand content through the PressPlay app (available in iOS, Android and Web). The service lets users to download movies and other content to watch on the go. Passengers can stream locally via these hotspots, without using mobile data. However, the company also lets users watch live channels and trending videos etc., in case a 3G/4G connection is available.

The company mentions that the videos are downloaded locally by the app, so users can continue to watch the content even after de-boarding the train and are out of the WiFi range. However, it’s not clear for how long users can keep the content. As of now it claims to have more than 2,500 ‘dedicated PresPlay hotspots spread across 8 cities, with more than 25,000 visits on its platform.

Funding: In April 2015, the New Delhi-based travel entertainment startup had  had raised $ 2.2 million from Sequoia Capital and angel investors including Jason Hirschhorn, Jarett Posner, and Amit Bhatiani. Earlier in August 2014, they had also raised $500k in angel round of funding.

North Western Railway tie up: In February, PressPlay had tied up with North Western Railway to provide its passengers video on demand services during train journeys. As of now, the feature is live on Delhi Bikaner Intercity (22471 up & 22472 down) and Chetak Express (12981 up & 12982 down), with plans to extend it to 30 trains in the coming quarter.

Fropcorn at airports: Earlier this February, Mumbai-based entertainment company Fropcorn launched a similar service at the Hyderabad International airport, although users would have to pay for each movie. The company said then that it planned to launch access points at other airports and high footfall location, although it did not provide a timeline for this.

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