About a year ago Apalya Technologies was in the news for raising a seed investment of 2 crores from Mumbai Angels. A year later they are in the news again and this time its for raising 3 million $ in A series funding from IDG Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. Apalya is into mobile TV services and is a technology player that aggregates premium entertainment content from many different content providers, and then optimize the same to be suitable for mobile viewing.
This seems like a good deal for Apalya as its investors bring functional experties as well IDG from the media end and Qualcomm from the mobile technology end. Mobile Tv is a bandwidth heavy service and this investment comes at a time when 3G auction is soon to happen in India. It seems like Apalya has taken this funding to be geared for a full fledged roll out along with the 3G services in India.
Apalya currently has a team of 50 in Hyderabad, and boasts of tieups with almost all telecom operators. Its mobile tv service is already live on BSNL 3G and MTNL 3G. Its content portfolio includes 68 television channels, which include most of the news, entertainment and regional channels.
Mr. T C Meenakshisundaram and Mr. Ranjith Menon will represent IDG Ventures India on the Board of Directors at Apalya and Mr. Karthee Madasamy will represent Qualcomm Ventures as a Board observer.
We got in touch with the CEO of Apalya Mr. Vamshi Reddy and asked him more details on the funding:
Have Mumbai Angels exited Apalya?
We cannot disclose this.
What are the content vertical focus areas for Apalya?
Apalya focuses on Sports/ News/ Regional/Entertainment content which would be both long format, live, short format and on demand.
What are the opportunities of Mobile TV in India?
Indian market is primarily been driven by non data VAS, with 3G coming, the shift would be to move towards more compelling apps like Mobile TV which would be a key driver for 3G adoption. India is still a single TV household, with very little personal viewing, this in itself a driving factor for adoption of Mobile TV Service.
Who are your competitors in India?
We are currently the only player in this space with deployments with all the operators across GSM/CDMA and 3G.
Are you focused purely on the India market?
The current focus is on India but will be shifting to markets like Asia pacific and middle east in the near term
How much is the equity stake diluted?
We cannot disclose this.
What kind of growth are your expecting in the next 3 years?
We expect the mobile TV market to be somewhere around 400 crores
Would 3G open the floodgates for a service like mobile TV?
3G would enable us to deliver high quality service, thus increasing mass adoption and acceptance. This would be compelling enough for consumers to adopt services like mobile TV