India: Media startup SillyMonks raises funding

Digital and entertainment media startup SillyMonks raised Rs.3 crore from a high net-worth individual as it plans to launch six web series properties and consolidate its market position.

SillyMonks, owned by SillyMonks Entertainment Pvt Ltd, is a multi-channel network (MCN) delivering 100 million views a month through 650 channels on video-sharing website, YouTube.

The Hyderabad-based company is a YouTube MCN partner and has cumulative followers of 16 million across various social media platforms. Apart from creating original content, the company is also engaged in digital marketing and designing mobile apps and websites.

The latest round was led by Sreenivasa Reddy Musani, chairman and managing director of Ektha Group, which has interests in information technology solutions and real estate.

Founded by Sanjay Reddy and Anil Pallala in September 2013, Silly Monks earlier raised “nominal” angel funding from film producer Korrapati Ranganatha Sai, who produced films such as S.S. Rajamouli’s Eega (Makkhi in Hindi).

Money raised from the latest round will be used to deliver “new digitally immersive online experiences” to a highly connected customer base, create innovative original content and maximize return on investment for its clients, Sanjay Reddy, co-founder and managing director of SillyMonks said in a statement.

Back on the success of Muddapappu Avakai, the first Telugu web series, SillyMonks will shortly launch six web series properties on its YouTube channel, Silly Tube.

“We are looking at adding compelling content and options to brands and agencies eager to connect with the critical and growing digital demographics, in the online and television market space with a profitable combination of technology and content,” Sanjay Reddy said.

SillyMonks is engaged in film marketing, music band production, online brand promotion for small and medium industries and film production houses. It competes with the likes of Whacked Out Media Pvt. Ltd, which creates and distributes original content, manages social media profiles of celebrities, promotes films and is also a MCN partner of YouTube.

SillyMonks made revenues of Rs.4.75 crore during the 2015-16 financial year and is anticipating 50% growth in the current fiscal, according to the company.

Besides creating digital properties, the company has co-produced Telugu movies such as Oohalu Gusagusalade,Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya, Tungabhadra and Raja Cheyyi Vesthe together with its angel investor. The company also owns Monkstar Music, a platform for independent artists. SillyMonks is present in South India, Mumbai and Los Angeles.

Also Read: Indian media startups that raised funding in 2015

This story was first published on Livemint