Media firm New Delhi Television Ltd has forayed into the online wedding and festival planning market with the launch of its new venture named Special Occasions Ltd, as per a stock market disclosure.
The newly floated venture has also raised $20 million an undisclosed amount in a funding round led by US-based venture firm CerraCapital Ventures to kick-start operations.
“This investment is a validation of our digital strategy. We have been able to demonstrate our capability with IndianRoots.com, Gadgets360.com and CarAndBike.com, all of which have seen keen investor interest. Weddings is yet another business where we already have a high brand recall through our marquee shows in the space,” said Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV.
“We are confident that with CerraCap’s investment, we will be able to roll the latest of the NDTV ecommerce ventures, successfully,” he added.
Meanwhile, NDTV has appointed Sachin Singhal as CEO of Special Occasions. Singhal, who has over 10 years of experience in the startups space, began his career with the IT firm Tata Consultancy Services and was instrumental in starting and scaling up Naaptol.com.
In the Indian online wedding planning space, Special Occasion will compete with the likes of WeddingPlz, WedMeGood and PlanningWale.
In September this year, WedMeGood, a wedding planning portal that connects prospective couples with over 3,000 vendors, secured Rs 2.7 crore ($407,200) in seed funding from Indian Angel Network.
“The wedding industry in India is a $40 billion market which is disorganised and has operated the same way for decades. With India’s growing tech savvy populous, this market is ripe for disruption. Special Occasions has the right team, vision and platform to enable this disruption,” said Saurabh Suri, managing partner of CerraCap Ventures.
With this launch, NDTV is establishing itself more firmly in the digital and ecommerce space.
NDTV first ventured into the e-commerce space in 2013 with the launch of IndianRoots, an online marketplace for ethnic wear. In September this year, it turned its gadgets news and reviews website to a gadget e-commerce marketplace called Gadgets360, which received funding from several investors.
The other property of the company is Fifth Gear Auto, a new auto portal that aims to elicit the attention of those who follow NDTV's coverage of cars and bikes. This again appears to be another move to add digital commerce within its existing auto related content site NDTV Auto.
The combined value of IndianRoots, Gadgets360 and Fifth Gear Auto is $165 million.