Hungama raises $40M led by Bessemer Venture Partners

Mumbai-based Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, a mobile and digital entertainment company which provides mobile entertainment and value-added services and also develops games, has raised $40 million (over Rs 230 crore) led by Bessemer Venture Partners, a top executive of the company told VCCircle.

Existing investor Intel Capital also participated in this round.

“The money would be deployed to upgrade mobile apps and integrate with the banking system for having loyalty programmes with us,” said Neeraj Roy, managing director and CEO of Hungama.

Vishal Gupta, managing director of Bessemer Venture Partners, India, said, “Hungama is 10x larger than all the other players put together with about 20 million users. It has become India’s largest on-demand digital entertainment storefront, which serves audio, video and imagery to South Asians across the world. As smart phones penetration increases, Hungama is slated to become a prominent player in the market.”

“The digital business is in the transition period from 2G to 3G that will make it more fascinating. There is a big opportunity in delivering world-class movie and audio service,” said Roy.

Launched in 1999, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment runs a clutch of businesses including mobile marketing and entertainment content, gaming and online advertising. It creates and pushes Bollywood content on the mobile screen.

It runs Bollywood Hungama, a Hindi film and music site, formerly called IndiaFM.com that it acquired in 2000.

Earlier, WPP promoted advertising and marketing agency JWT Singapore had acquired a majority stake in the company’s a digital and promotions marketing unit Hungama Digital Services for an undisclosed sum.

In October 2012, Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corporation, had put in an undisclosed amount in Hungama. The investment was a part of the $40 million bulk amount that the VC firm has decided to invest in 10 innovative companies across the globe. The portfolio of companies spreads across a range of technologies from collaborating in the cloud and delivering enhanced digital entertainment to simplifying mobile payments and enabling new forms of device interaction.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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