Canaan Partners recently announced a strategic investment in Chakpak (www.chakpak.com), a next-generation online entertainment community from India. As soon as the news broke out, various networks and blogs have been abuzz with a series of discussions, and some did call me up as well to congratulate as much as to understand why did we invest in Chakpak – particularly since Chakpak is currently focused around movies?
India makes about 1,000 movies a year, including Bollywood’s 200-odd Hindi pictures and others in regional languages—about 10 times Hollywood’s total. Today India’s younger generation is getting wealthier and spending more on entertainment, and the spends continue to be unrestrained across age-groups and through the changes in the general economic outlook. The 2008 annual edition of the FICCI-PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that the Indian Entertainment and Media (E&M) industry’s performance has surpassed the performance of most of the other Indian industries in 2007.
More importantly, Bollywood is also an area with a global appeal and with the potential to create a Global Indian company. “The Namesake” - a story about the Indian diaspora grossed about $14 million at the box office—nearly 95 percent from the United States. The next challenge for Bollywood is to branch out to the broader media and entertainment business.
PricewaterhouseCoopers projects Asia’s entertainment and media industry would grow at 8.8 percent annually to touch $508 billion by 2012, while India’s entertainment and media market would grow at a faster rate - 18.5 percent annually - to reach $36.3 billion during the same period, and that’s exactly where Chakpak fits the bill.
Comscore pegs the number of online Indians interested in entertainment related content to around 18 mn (only resident Indians). This could grow further by 10-15 mn, according to conventional estimates, to include the Non-Resident Indians. Within one and half years, Chakpak already has 5 mn users (this translates to 20% of the global user base) with a lean team of only 8 people and without spending a dime on marketing so far. This is a great illustration of Chakpak’s capital efficiency.
As more and more movie and entertainment marketers focus on the markets abroad, online communities such as Chakpak will be the most viable vehicle for promotion. And not to forget, the potential to harness the power of the communities to participate in the creation, marketing and distribution of movie & entertainment projects. I am very confident that Chakpak has the potential to redefine online entertainment in India.
Wishing you a great 2009!
Alok Mittal, Managing Director
Chakpak.com, a next-generation online entertainment community from India has received funding from Canaan Partners in its first round of venture funding. Chakpak which is the fastest growing Indian online entertainment community with a global membership base has initial focus on movies communities. The investment will accelerate Chakpak’s growth and product offerings while enhancing its delivery infrastructure. Alok Mittal, MD Canaan Partners, will also serve on board of directors for Chakpak.
BharatMatrimony.Com, India’s most trusted matrimony portal with over 12 million registered members launched EliteMatrimony.com, an exclusive matrimony website for the super-rich, celebrities, royalty and the who’s who of society. The new website will offer a differentiated experience for handpicked and select customers through a comprehensive range of premium benefits and personal attention that their lifestyle demands. The membership to this ultra-premium website will be by invitation only and based on the credentials of potential members.
iYogi, a next-generation personalized remote computer support services for consumers and small businesses has been awarded with the Red Herring 100 Award, a selection of the 100 most innovative private technology companies based in Asia. As a part of the selection process, the Red Herring editorial board diligently surveyed the entrepreneurial scene throughout Asia and identified the top 100 out of more than 1,000 closely evaluated companies that are leading the next wave of innovation.
Get face-to-face with Harish Gandhi, Executive Director, Canaan Partners at HeadStart 2009 at a panel discussion on “Consumer Internet and Mobile - Lessons from the Past and Opportunities for the future” on January 9, 2009 at the NIMHANS Convention Centre in Bangalore. The event will showcases the best and most innovative products coming out of India and will provide a platform for stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem to exchange views and network.
Harish Gandhi will also address at VAS India 2009talking about “Mobile Advertisement & Marketing: The Future of Mobile Telephony?” on January 15, 2009 (1430-1600 hrs) at Taj Lands End, Mumbai.
The event will examine the potential for mobile content & entertainment in India along with the types of innovative service offerings that are most appealing to Indian consumers and to develop marketing strategies in order to incite the user to use advanced data services.
Canaan Partners invests in entrepreneurs and works alongside them to turn visionary ideas into valuable companies. Since 1987, the firm has catalyzed the growth of disruptive technology startups and healthcare companies revolutionizing the practice of medicine. With $3.4 billion under management and more than 94 acquisitions and 54 IPOs to date, Canaan has funded companies such as Acme Packet, Associated Content (acquired by Yahoo), CommerceOne, DoubleClick (acquired by Google), ID Analytics (acquired by LifeLock), Match.com (acquired by IAC), SandForce (acquired by LSI), SuccessFactors (acquired by SAP) and Virsto Software (acquired by VMware), as well as notable healthcare companies such as Advanced BioHealing (acquired by Shire), BiPar Sciences (acquired by Sanofi), Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX) and Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Sunovion). Current technology investments include Blurb, Kabam, Lending Club, Performance Marketing Brands, SOASTA, Tremor Video and Zoosk in the U.S.; BharatMatrimony and UnitedLex in India; and PrimeSense and LiveU in Israel. The Canaan healthcare portfolio includes emerging leaders such as Liquidia Technologies, Civitas Therapeutics and DICOM Grid. Canaan maintains a presence in the global innovation hubs of Silicon Valley, New York City, India and Israel. For more information visit www.canaan.com or www.facebook.com/canaanpartners.
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