Chinese tech giant Tencent is in talks to lead a $110 million investment in the video streaming platform MX player, bringing up the valuation of the Times Internet owned platform at around $ 500 million post-funding, according to sources familiar with the talks.
Times Internet that acquired MX player back in 2018, also participated in the round. Reports state that this would be the video streaming platform’s first external fundraising after being acquired by Time Internet.
MX Player web series plans
The Indian OTT firm plans to utilize fresh funding to build up its content portfolio on its platform by acquiring and producing exclusive video content and deepening its roots further in the entertainment genre. By producing an exclusive MX Player web series, it will be in direct competition with the already established OTT players like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, ALTBalaji, etc. Moreover, with the announcement of Flipkart and Zomato entering the OTT or over the top market, the competition is expected to grow more severe.
Karan Bedi, Chief Executive at MX player, said that the company visions to be one of the largest entertainment platforms in the world, serving its users with a variety of online entertainment needs, beginning with video streaming. He added that the company has partnered with three of the five large television networks in India that include Sony Entertainment and Sun TV Network. MX Player has also collaborated with various Indian web series producers like TVF, Dice Media, and content producing platforms like Hoichoi.
Satyam Gajwani, VC of Times Internet, said in a statement, “MX Player was our most ambitious investment last year, and it has the potential to change mobile entertainment in India and the world. It plays an important role in Times Internet’s strategy of being the largest consumer platform in India, and we’re excited to have Tencent help us in this mission.”
Tencent, an emerging investor in the Indian internet market
This would be the second time that the Chinese conglomerate Tencent would have backed a Times Internet owned property. The firm led a $ 115 million investment in Times Internet held Gaana, a music streaming service, in February last year.
MX Player, launched in 2011 as a South Korea-based video playback app, grew a noticeable user base on Android and was downloaded over 500 million times by 2018 when it was bought by Time Group subsidiary Times Internet for $ 144 million. One can install MX Player for PC, MX Player for Windows, Android, and even iOS.
Tencent has emerged as one of the largest investors in the Indian internet market with its stake in highly successful homegrown startups, including Ola, Byju’s, and the now Walmart owned, Flipkart. It also invested in B2B ventures like Udaan and OkCredit.
MX Player has 280 million monthly active users globally, with 175 million active users from India alone, and with a presence across 200 countries. The video streaming platform is presently in its beta stages in Australia, Canada, the US, and New Zealand.