Canaan Partners writes off investment in interactive digital broadcaster Cellcast Asia

Early stage VC fund Canaan Partners, which in 2007 infused $5.25 million in Mumbai-based , a provider of interactive TV and mobile content in the digital entertainment sector, has written off its entire investment in the firm, according to a Medianama report.

Canaan Partners, which invested in Cellcast in return for a 38.9 per cent stake, declined to comment on the development. “We can neither confirm nor deny the development,” Canaan Partners MD Alok Mittal told VCCircle.

Set up in 2005 as a subsidiary of UK-based Cellcast Plc, Cellcast Asia uses traditional media such as television, newspapers and radio to distribute the content with real time participation. It broadcasts shows on TV, radio, mobile and internet, and generates revenues through user responses via SMS, WAP and voice calls. The firm runs programmes such as Bid2Win, Bollywood Dhamaal and Bollywood Tambola. The Indian entity is led by Pankaj Thakkar (CEO), Pradeep Menon (chief people officer) and Alok Yadav (VP - technology).

Canaan Partners is a global venture capital firm that invests in technology and healthcare companies. The company has invested in Acme Packet, CommerceOne, and DoubleClick as well as healthcare giants Cerexa, Dexcom and Peninsula Pharmaceuticals. The firm’s Indian portfolio includes AdNear, BharatMatrimony,, Happiest Minds,, iYogi, and Naaptol.

In March this year, Info Edge (India) Pvt Ltd disclosed that it would make a provision for or write off its entire investment of around Rs 29.3 crore ($5.4 million) in Ninety Nine Labels Pvt Ltd which runs the online private sales portal

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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