Zee Entertainment to buy 80% stake in tech startup Margo Networks

Media baron Subash Chandra-led Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd has decided to acquire an 80% stake in tech startup Margo Networks Pvt. Ltd for Rs 75 crore ($11.5 million).

The Zee Group company said in a stock-exchange filing on Wednesday that it will subscribe to fresh shares of Margo at a post-issue valuation of Rs 95 crore.

Mumbai-based Margo, founded in August 2016, has developed a technology to set up server and compute infrastructure to enable digital consumption. This has the potential to drive digital consumption higher, Zee Entertainment said.

“Considering the strong synergies of the technology developed by Margo with the current business of the company, the board of directors of the company has approved the acquisition of an equity stake in Margo,” the company added.

The transaction is likely to be completed within 30 days, it added.

Founded by Ripunjay Bararia, Margo Networks is developing a next-generation push content delivery network “which intends to set up Edge Servers as close to the delivery destination as possible,” the startup's LinkedIn page shows. Using Big Data methodologies, analytics, microservices architecture, caching algorithms and machine learning techniques, Margo Networks plans to optimise high-speed delivery of content to end consumers.

Bararia is also a director at SugarBox Networks Pvt. Ltd, and had earlier worked as managing director at Mumbai-based IT consulting firm Digital Dreams Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

Zee Group has acquired many firms in quick succession over the past few months.

In November, Zee agreed to acquire billionaire Anil Ambani's radio and television businesses for Rs 1,900 crore ($283 million) including debt.

Also in November, NASDAQ-listed direct-to-home TV company Videocon d2h Ltd agreed to merge with Subash Chandra’s Essel Group firm Dish TV Ltd to create the largest Indian listed media firm by revenue.

In September, Zee Entertainment entered the radio business with the acquisition of the UAE’s first radio station, Hum 106.2 FM. The deal gave Zee exposure to TV, radio and digital entertainment business in the region.

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