Amagi Media Labs raises Series C funding from PremjiInvest, others

Amagi Media Labs Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based firm that facilitates geographic targeting of television ads, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series C funding from PremjiInvest, the personal investment vehicle of Wipro chairman Azim Premji, according to a top executive of the company. The round also saw participation from existing investor Mayfield.

While the company declined to comment on the exact amount received as funding, VCCircle had first reported that Amagi Media Labs in advanced talks to raise $15 million from PremjiInvest.

“We will use the funding to expand within the country and also to expand footprint in markets like the UK, Singapore, Japan and the US,” Baskar Subramanian, co-founder, Amagi Media Labs, said.

With this round, Atul Gupta, principal, PremjiInvest will join the board as an additional director.

Amagi Media was founded seven years ago by Srinivasan, along with Baskar Subramanian and Srividhya Srinivasan. Prior to Amagi, they had also co-founded another technology company, Impulsesoft Pvt Ltd., a bluetooth audio solutions provider. Impulsesoft was later acquired by SiRF, a NASDAQ-listed semiconductor firm based in the US. After the acquisition, the trio held key positions at SiRF, before starting Amagi.

Amagi essentially facilitates geo targeting of television advertisements. Simply put, if viewers in Mumbai and Delhi are watching the same TV channel, they will still see different ads, depending on their geographical location.

The company also offers a ‘Cloudport platform’ as a new product for technology licensing to broadcasters, which enables international TV networks to deliver localised feeds across geographies and reach out to new markets by replacing their existing expensive satellite feeds. The platform is designed as a full-featured alternative to traditional channel play-out options (like satellite or fiber) and TV networks can deliver feeds with rich channel branding, diverse language versions and subtitles using Cloudport.

Srinivasan claims that the firm had more than 2,500 advertisers. It has already forayed into the international market and has partnered with Horse & Country TV, an equestrian sports and lifestyle network that broadcasts in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden and Malta, to deliver its signals to cable, satellite and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) operators. Horse & Country TV leverages Amagi’s platform to deliver localised channel feeds to current and future markets where the channel is distributed.

Maa Television Network, a Telugu-language television network, has also been using Amagi’s platform for offering its ‘Maa TV’ and ‘Maa Movies’ channels in Singapore since April 2013.

In June last year, the firm had raised Rs 31.25 crore ($5.3 million) in funding from Mayfield, a global venture capital firm with $2.7 billion under management, with participation from existing investor Nadathur Group, an investment firm founded by Infosys’ co-founder NS Raghavan. This was almost a year after the firm bagged Rs 25 crore from Nadathur Group in August 2011.

In terms of competition, there is Rediff, which had acquired a company called Vubites, a local TV advertising firm founded by Rediff chairman and CEO Ajit Balakrishnan in his individual capacity, in 2010. Rediff entered the local TV-advertisement market post this acquisition.

PremjiInvest has been one of the most aggressive family offices in the country.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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