Early stage venture capital firm Chatsworth Management and sports management company ITW Consulting Pvt. Ltd have made a seed round of funding worth $500,000 (Rs 3.4 crore) in sports-focused digital broadcast network Veqta, it said in a statement. The firm had earlier received initial-stage backing from ITW.
The startup will use the capital to expand its rights portfolio, build team and strengthen its product development and consumer reach, said Vikram Tanwar, co-founder, Veqta.
Founded by Tanwar and Varun Mathur, Veqta offers a selection of sports content from across the globe through video on demand and live streaming.
Broadly, over-the-top (OTT) players in India follow three models. As per the first model, the content is free for users and the platform owner earns from advertising. In the second model, subscription drives the business with zero advertising. As per the third model, which is called freemium, users pay for premium content while some content is free.
Veqta follows a freemium model with a portion of the content available to all users and select premium content behind a paywall. Its offerings include licensed content and also flagship studio content across cricket, football, action sports, motorsports, basketball, tennis, badminton and a range of Olympic sports. It plans to offer content in multiple languages in the future.
"The OTT service space for streaming and video on demand is one of the fastest growing segments for digital businesses. There are offerings in movies, general entertainment and music genres. However, sports is highly underserved in India unlike other markets in the west where it is one of the largest segments," said Gaurav Gill, managing partner, Chatsworth Management.
Veqta is a brand of ITW Digital, a sports content platform owned by ITW Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
It plans to launch its Android and iOS apps in the next few weeks.
OTT platforms are touted as the next preferred destination for consumption of video content. Veqta is one of a dozen such platforms. ArrÃ©, Hotstar, Spuul, Netflix, Hooq, Eros Now, Sony LIV, Hungama Play and Viacom18's VOOT are the other such operational platforms while Amazon Prime and Balaji Telefilms' ALT are likely to join the race soon. And then there is Google's YouTube, the market leader in online video viewership and online video advertising revenues.
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