iDubba, a Morpheus Gang Startup, Raises Angel Round to Help Users “Fall in love with TV”
iDubba (Morpheus gang, batch 6) has released the official public beta of their website after analyzing user feedback from earlier two prototypes. The new release has significant design improvements & a pictorial TV guide which makes TV program surfing a lot more easier & fun. iDubba.com rewards TV viewers for watching TV!!
They recently received Angel investment from some of top angels in the country including Rajan Anandan (Google India MD), Srikant Sastri (Vivaki India head), Abhishek Rungta/Pallav Nadhani (seeders.in) and few others.
What’s new @iDubba:
- Powerful new recommendation engine (uses Mahout recommendation libraries and taste based recommendation algorithm).
- Pictorial Guidepage.
- Intelligent alerts based on kewords and other interesting things like Live, Premiere and IMDB.
- Rewards for watching TV.
How it works:
The problem with today’s TV viewing is that there are too many TV channels and in such busy life it’s very difficult for viewers to find and get alerted about their programs of choice. iDubba has a built in recommendation engine and an alerts platform which is called iAlerts.
- Recommendations are based on a technology which matches users’ taste with programs s/he might be interested in watching.
- iAlerts are more specific and allows users to set Alerts like- “Alert me whenever a Hindi movie Starring Aamir Khan is coming on weekend prime time”.
- Tune in- To capture viewers’ TV viewing interest iDubba uses a concept called “Tune in”. It indicates that a person is watching a TV show or s/he likes watching it.
- Rewards- Yes! iDubbarewardsusersforWATCHINGTV! For every activity on iDubba users gain some points and based on that they get on various Leaderboards (Sports, Infotainment, Soaps etc). At the end of month iDubba distributes TV credits based on a user’s position in leaderboard. TV credits can be redeemed (every month) to win free DTH recharges, DTH connections or even LCD TVs.
- User experience- To top this, iDubba provides a very pleasing end-user experience. It’s pictorialGuidepage is a very new kind of TV guide concept which makes browsing through programs extremely simple and fun.
- Social- iDubba is inherently social in nature, but it also provides enough tools to control what you want to share on Facebook or Twitter.
IDubba has seen total of 70,000+ activities. 25,000+ (15k reminders and 10k Tune Ins) activities happened in last 3 weeks (after beta release). It already has 50+ active players playing the leaderboard and fighting for rewards going to be given this month. More than 1200 people are actively Tuning in to the programs (which is the major feature).
iDubba now caters to all of English and Hindi TV channels in India with 150+ channels and 18000+ shows and movies in its database.
During this month 90 leaders from leaderboard will be able to get free DTH recharge.
Rabi and Ashish started iDubba and ran it for more than a year before getting noticed by “TheMorpheus” startup accelerator program. Sameer and Nandini from Morpheus mentored them and helped them create a beta version out the prototypes as they both themselves are enthusiastic TV/Movie watchers. The Morpheus gang with 120 odd entrepreneurs helped them as early beta users.
Journey so far:
iDubba was started around one and half years back by Rabi and Ashish with nothing in hands but just an idea of making TV viewing better for themselves. Before this Rabi was employed with Wipro and Ashish with another web development firm for around 3 years. Soon they understood that getting a website up is not the only challenge but getting TV data in India is like mining a gold mine. They struggled at start and with their own savings (with some borrowed from family and friends), it wasn’t going to last long. But just in the nick of time The Morpheus noticed iDubba and inducted it in it’s 6th batch. iDubba didn’t look back since then.
After being in testing phase for more than a year, iDubba launched its public beta version 2 weeks back and has got phenomenal response.
What the founders think of iDubba-
Rabi Gupta: It has been a challenge to bring out an idea like iDubba in the form it is today. It has undergone lot of changes based on small feedback which we received during last one and half years. The idea has lots of potential which has kept us motivated throughout this period. People love to watch TV but what after that? Watching TV is an activity but its not a very amazing experience yet- with tools like recommendations, alerts and social platform we will make watching TV very fulfilling for viewers.
Ashish Kumar: We have seen that more than the idea, it’s the inherent nature of product which makes user fall in love with a product. We have worked really hard on the back-end and front-end of iDubba. It has it’s own APIs which we soon plan to make public. It has an in-house CMS to manage all complex content related tasks, a strong recommendation technology developed by a scientist. We are also coming up with an updated version of Android app. We want iDubba to become a superior technology product.
What Investors think of iDubba-
Nandini (Morpheus): At Morpheus we’d been interacting with Rabi & Ashish for sometime before they became a part of Batch 6. We strongly believe in the capabilities of these two guys, we’ve noticed that irrespective of what the situation is the idubba guys will hold fort and make it happen. Also, i love their iAlerts, helps me catch up with that random movie i’ve been wanting to watch!
Abhishek Rungta (seeders.in): We invested in iDubba because we felt that these guys are passionate about what they are doing and trying to solve a problem that I have faced as a consumer.