Funding

Travel entertainment startup PressPlay raises massive seed funding, changes its working model

Alok Soni
7th Apr 2015
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New Delhi-based travel entertainment startup PressPlay has announced one of the largest seed round funding. Ex-Zomato employees co-founded company has raised $ 2.2 million from Sequoia Capital and angel investors, including Jason Hirschhorn, Jarett Posner, and Amit Bhatiani. Earlier in August 2014, they had raised $500k in angel round of funding. Fresh funds will be deployed to further work on the product market fit, technology and hire new talent.

Both the co-founders Anand Sinha and George Abraham were country heads at Zomato before they quit their jobs and got together to start up PressPlay. YourStory spoke to Anand to know more about the funding and the growth at PressPlay Tabs in last few months.


pressplay-2

Why did Sequoia invest in PressPlay Tabs?

Anand says,

The investors and the team truly believe that we have started the company by solving a genuine problem. They believe in the team’s long term vision of solving the problem of content discovery and consumption, and in our ability to execute this vision. Over 95% of the content consumed on PressPlay is on mobile.

The team of 35 members, including the two founders, believe in the practice of defining responsibilities. They have a growing tech and business operations setup. The company will be focusing on building user acquisition, human capital and product team.


PressPlay Mobile

How does it work?In the earlier model, company used to provide the tabs to the passengers for which they had partnered with most of the content providers, including movies and games. Now, the user needs to just connect to their wifi and all the content can be streamed without any buffer or data charge on the users smartphone.

Anand says,

We learnt quickly from our mistakes and have now launched entertainment wi-fi services across Volvo buses in India. This was launched just 10 days back and we are already at a run rate of 50,000 users per month with more than 40,000 minutes of content being consumed daily.

Growth in last 6 months 

Started with rented out tabs, PressPlay entertained more than 1 lac passengers. Even though this was an asset heavy model and operationally challenging, the company was firm to continue with it as this included zero friction from the users side. The last six months have helped the co-founders understand more about the market and work on their business model. They claim that the idea of entertainment inside long distance buses has been well received by both private and government bus operators along with all the passengers.

PressPlay has enjoyed the monopoly in the market till now but they believe that the day they see competition, it'll only push them to work harder.

The year ahead

At the moment, the company is focusing on app usage both in and out of the PressPlay wifi network and uplifting the travel industry. Anand discloses,

We are also working on a couple of ideas that we hope to launch soon. Since both the founders are ex Zomato, aggressive business expansion is something we cant live without. We will be actively exploring a vertical outside long distance travel and are also hoping to launch in a market outside India. To fuel the expansion of our product and team we will also be talking to potential investors for a series A round soon.


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