We recently announced our funding as we raised US$35 million from Emerald Media and Premji Invest, the investment arm of Azim Premji in a combination of primary and secondary series D funding. Emerald Media is backed by global private equity (PE) major KKR and invests in the fast-growing media and entertainment companies in Asia. Prior to this round, Amagi has raised US$25 million from Premji Invest, Mayfield India and Nadathur Holdings will continue to remain invested in the Company. Emerald Media, has a strong understanding of the TV Broadcast industry and the OTT space and we are very happy to partner with them. Their domain expertise and regional and global media relationships will help us further leverage the transition of the TV broadcasting industry to the cloud and expand our international footprint.
The growth capital from this round of funding will enable Amagi to expand its targeted advertising platforms globally, enter new international markets for its cloud-based managed broadcast services and introduce a host of products to cater to the various needs of TV broadcasters and OTT networks. Cloud-based services virtualize the whole broadcasting operation. Currently, the company is delivering channels in 25 countries through such a platform. For instance, the Bollywood film and music channel B4U sits on an Amagi platform in London where its scheduling is done, while its content is pushed from Mumbai. The channel beams into India, the UK, Canada and Singapore even as it is monitored in Bengaluru. It took Amagi two years to prototype the software-based system before launching it two years ago. Currently, the company manages 50 channels globally, including from television networks such as Bloomberg and Scripps. Back home, its services are sought by news channels NDTV and Times Now for their feeds to West Asia.
There are several advantages of cloud-based services—the key benefits are that the service is software-based, so one doesn’t need a physical location to run the operations. Thus, real estate, infrastructure and manpower costs reduce dramatically. Moreover, the technology also makes a strong case for pop-up channels, basically allowing broadcasters the opportunity to experiment with their channels without the fear of steep costs and regulations. For instance, if a Bollywood film channel wants to check if it has a market in the US, it can use the cloud-based technology to launch without adding to its cost by leasing a satellite for a minimum of three to five years. Clearly, cloud-based broadcasting opportunity allows for a quick turnaround time, including the ability to create and dismantle channels quickly. Lastly, it also makes remote management and transparency possible, basically you can be anywhere and monitor the channel on a browser. It democratizes the whole thing.
On the other hand, Amagi’s geo-targeting business also contributes a significant portion of the TV advertising pie. For geo-targeting services, Amagi is working with more than 3,800 advertisers. We have also introduced geo-targeting technology for the over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services of television channels.
Currently, Amagi has OTT clients in the UK and the US. In India, it plans to aggregate 40-50 online TV channels and deliver them to advertisers in the next three months.