Video app MX Player has raised $111 million in fresh funding from China’s Tencent and its existing owner Times Internet. The deal is Tencent’s second investment into a Times Internet company, after it backed music-streaming platform Gaana last year. The Series A round, said to be raised at a valuation of $500 million, will help MX Player double down on original TV shows and enhance its list of licensed content. MX Player claims to be India’s second-largest video-streaming platform with over 175 million monthly active users.
OTT players are getting traction due to more people are favoring smartphones as replacement for televisions in terms of watching series and all. Content will drive the market (localized and regional based) and cut throat competition in OTT is eyeing to milk it maximum. Very soon we can expect Indian versions of high quality series like Games of Thrones or House of Cards. Tencent leads $110 million funding round in MX Player.
MX Player started its journey as a local content player before converting into an OTT platform, building its own streaming technology and formally launching earlier this year. It competes with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar in Asia’s third-largest economy, where the video OTT market, currently pegged at Rs 23,000 crore, is anticipated to touch Rs 62,000 crore by 2024, according to an industry report published by KPMG
Excited to share that MX Player has raised $110 million from Tencent and Times Internet! This is our second business to raise external capital, after Gaana last year. We bought MX last year, believing we could bring a great OTT experience atop a large local video audience. We’ve been successful, building one of the largest OTTs in less than a year, with world class tech, compelling original content, and great partnerships.
MX is an important part of the Times Internet ecosystem. Today our platforms reach over 525 million monthly users, and 110 million daily users that spend 41 minutes per day across our platforms. The MX team is very strong, and will innovate on digital entertainment in many ways, atop a large audience base. Congrats to Karan Bedi and the MX team, and welcome, Tencent, to the fun.
This is a big one for MX, also underscores the massive potential at the intersection of tech+social+video. Will be fascinating to watch the battle of Netflix and Prime versus MX, Jio Hotstar and others. But one question why do Chinese or US firms need to invest in Indian new age ventures? Why cant Indian corporate’s invest?
Tencent seems very bullish about this given they have been wanting to get into this genre for long. They have been one of the largest investors in the Indian startup ecosystem in brands like Ola Byjus Hike and Flipkart and one can only expect this to be a growth driver for Times Internet.