India: Tiger Global invests $10m in online videos creator The Viral Fever

Tiger Global Management Llc has invested $10 million (Rs.65.6 crore) in popular online video content creator ‘The Viral Fever’ (TVF), picking up a significant minority stake in the firm, according to filings made by the company with the registrar of companies (RoC).

The investment was made in Contagious Online Media Network Pvt. Ltd, which was incorporated in July last year. According to the documents, Tiger Global has picked up close to 25% stake in the firm valuing it at around Rs.270 crore.

The firm’s filings with the RoC show that for the period from 3 August to 21 October, Contagious Online Media reported a revenue of Rs.64 lakh and a profit of Rs.22 lakh.

The Viral Fever was set up by IIT graduate Arunabh Kumar in 2010. He was later joined by Amit Golani and Biswapati Sarkar.

TVF is popular for producing online videos targeting the youth. The group is known for its comedy videos such asQtiyapa; Barely Speaking with Arnub—a satirical take on Times Now’s Arnab Goswami and its original online series such as TVF Pitchers and Permanent Roommates.

In an email response, Tiger Global declined to comment on the development, while emails sent on Tuesday to TVF founders Arunabh Kumar and Biswapati Sarkar did not elicit a response till the time of going to press.

In the recent years, the trend of creating online video content, especially in the comedy genre, has picked up significantly with the emergence of several groups such as All India Bakchod, East India Comedy and several stand-up comics.

These content creators are not just doing it for the laughs. There is serious money to be earned through platforms such as YouTube. According to a report by US magazine Forbes in October, the 10 top earning content creators on YouTube for 2014 and 2015 earned a grand total of $54 million.

For Tiger Global, this is the second investment in the online video content space. In 2015, Tiger, along with venture capital fund Zodius Capital, invested $18 million in Culture Machine, which runs the Being Indian and several other YouTube channels. The firm helps artists create, promote and monetize their videos on YouTube and other platforms.

The American investor has stakes in close to 50 companies of varying sizes across the country, mostly in the consumer Internet sector. It has invested an estimated $2 billion-plus into these companies, earning it the distinction of being the largest and most active start-up investor here over the last decade.

However, in the last couple of the American investment firm has gone slow on investing in India.

On 12 February, Mint reported that more than half the companies in its portfolio have been told that it will not participate in future funding rounds even on a pro-rata basis. In instances where it does participate in future rounds, it will not take the lead on deals as has been the norm in the past.

This has resulted in a significant churn in its portfolio with several of its portfolio firms becoming acquisition targets. In some cases they have been acquired by firms which are also funded by Tiger Global.

In January, Bengaluru-based property search platform Commonfloor was snapped up by online classifieds platform Quikr in a stock-swap deal. Tiger Global is an investor in both companies. Last week, another Tiger’s investee firm Zo Rooms got acquired by its larger rival OYO Rooms.

Tiger Global counts unicorns such as Flipkart, Quikr and Ola as its portfolio firms.

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This story was first published on Livemint

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.