Jadooz Media Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates entertainment zones that consist of cinema halls, virtual reality (VR) centres and cafes in towns and villages in India, has raised Rs 1.85 crore ($270,000 at current exchange rate) in seed funding led by Artha Venture Fund.
The company will use the funds to build 10 entertainment zones across the country, said Jadooz in a statement.
Jadooz was founded in 2017 by Rahul Nehra and Padma Shri awardee and actor Shobana Chandrakumar. Kanika Singal was designated as co-founder early this year. Jadooz has three entertainment zones at Pindra in district Varanasi and at Thumuluru and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. It plans to open 25 -35 centres by the end of this year and 250 centres by the end of the next year.
The entertainment zones consist of a 50-70-seater cinema hall that showcases both Bollywood and regional films. The zones also have a virtual reality centre, gaming pods and a cafe.
Jadooz’s markets include towns with a population of 25,000 to 250,000 people, with an average per family income of Rs 15,000 to 35,000 per month, said Anirudh Damani, managing partner, Artha Venture Fund. "Nevertheless, their business and design team do a thorough recce to determine the suitability of the location. So, they are not only an ideal candidate to operate as a franchise model but also provide a quality service at an affordable price," he added.
The startup's co-founder Nehra, a graduate of National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, has been in the content distribution technology space in various capacities for 20 years. Co-founder Singal, a graduate of School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, has been associated with global consultancy McKinsey and has launched businesses.
Actor and politician Ravi Kishan is a celebrity partner while Chandrakumar, TV personality Rannvijay Singh and producer and director Chandran Rutnam are mentors.
Artha Venture Fund, which is backed by Singularity Holdings and the family office of former BSE director Ashok Kumar Damani, had marked the first close of its debut fund last year.
The venture capital fund had made its debut investment in 2017, backing online peer-to-peer lending platform LenDen Club in a pre-Series A round.
Its second bet was on Chotta Haazri Foods Pvt. Ltd, which operates tea kiosks in Mumbai under the brand Haazri.
Last week, the fund struck its third bet by investing in Kabaddi Adda, a portal which offers content dedicated to the sport.