Bangalore-based Seventymm Services Pvt Ltd, which started as an online DVD rental company but later switched to become an e-commerce site focused around movies, is planning to completely phase out its DVD rental business in the next two quarters (mid 2012), a top company executive told Techcircle.in.
The VC-backed company’s DVD rental business which had as many as 1 lakh registered users at one point of time has witnessed customers dropping out over the past few years. Its registered users for the DVD rental business has now shrunk to just 1,000, said Bhawna Agarwal, COO, Seventymm.
The firm is now calling up its remaining DVD rental customers to give them gift voucher for its ecommerce store.
“As we have planned not to add new stocks (DVDs for rent), we do not want our customer’s money to be blocked. It’s just a gesture from our part to let the customers use the unutilised money. And the customers have loved the idea,” said Agarwal.
We had written about how the DVD rental business had taken a backseat, and the transformation of Seventymm, but now it is planning to shut it down completely. This comes right after another large player in the business, BigFlix tweaked its business model.
The video content service from Reliance Entertainment decided to shut down its physical distribution business and moved into Video on Demand service. It recently launched BigFlix plus, an online VoD service that allows the user to watch movies by paying a monthly subscription fee.
Seventymm is also shifting its focus to celebrity related products in its e-com business and intends to enter into sports merchandising by end of this year as a separate section.
According to Agarwal, “ABC (Astrology, Bollywood and Cricket) drives the Indian market. While we don’t want to get into astrology, we want to explore more into this untapped market of celebrity merchandising. Everybody aspires to wear or use products worn by their favourite movie stars. Hence, we are trying to explore that market at a pocket friendly price.”
The firm claims by now it has shipped 20,000 SKUs of celebrity merchandise.
Since its launch in 2005, Seventymm has raised $21.4 million in three rounds of funding from venture capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Matrix Partners and NEA-Indo US Ventures. As of now the firm is adequately funded but Agarwal added, “The way we are scaling up our business we might need fresh funds, in one-and-a-half years time.”