Personalization of video content is a big opportunity area for startups in India. With the penetration of smartphones, consumption of videos increased by leaps and bounds. Netizens in India spend an aggregate 50 million hours on YouTube in a month as per a Comscore report in November last year.
While entertainment (genres like movies, music, TV shows etc.) and sports (largely cricket) make up a major chunk of overall consumption, niche segments like beauty, wellness and fashion are catching up fast. To cash on the aforementioned niches, Naveen Sadarangani and Zubin Sarkari conceived the idea of Glamrs, a video content destination for young Indian women.
As women increasingly use the internet to discover lifestyle options, products, and ideas, Glamrs aspires to become the most loved online video destination to cater to their lifestyle interests.
“Nothing has empowered the young Indian woman like mobile internet. It has made it possible for women to engage with ideas, information, products and people like never before. Women are no longer compelled to accept gender or cultural biases. Glamrs’ mission is to add to this empowerment with relevant, interesting video content in the beauty and fashion space,” says Naveen.
Glamrs’s growth story
Floated in June 2014, the company started in thebeauty category, and later added fashion and style. “Since the launch, our video content has stimulated tremendous growth in our audience numbers. We recorded over 7.5 million pageviews last month on our website, a greater than 100% growth since January 2015,” adds Naveen.
Currently, 80 per cent of Glamrs’ traffic comes from mobile, and it thus plans to roll out a mobile app soon. During the second half of 2014, Zubin and Naveen were joined by senior fashion and media professionals Shanel Chellaram and Sandeep Sajeev.
Glamrs’s Facebook reach has tripled over the last six months, climbing to over 11 million unique users last week, and more than 10 million video views since December 2014. “Our Youtube channel has over 72,000 subscribers, with over eight million video views of original Glamrs content,” reveals Naveen.
Like with other startups, building the initial team was a big challenge. Besides this, its major challenge was persuading brands to see the value and potential for effective and productive engagement with our audience.
“The exponentially increasing consumption of our digital videos amongst our audience is a continuous demonstration of our ability to engage and inspire the young Indian woman. Sixteen months ago, we found it hard to convince brands about the effectiveness of our videos. Today, we have the luxury of saying ‘no’ to some of the biggest brands in the country,” points out Zubin.
Digital video is a new medium, and over the past one year, it has caught the attention of smartphone users and, in turn, the brands that want to connect and engage with them.
With the massive shift of the attention of young audiences from traditional TV to digital video on the mobile web, Glamrs now sees millions of young women using their mobile phones to discover ideas, content and connections that enhance their lives.
Recent funding & size of opportunity
Recently, Glamrs raised a round of $1 million, led by Ventureworks and participated in by Batlivala & Karani Securities, Nikunj Jhaveri (Founder, System Plus Group of Companies) and existing investor Blume Ventures. Earlier, Blume had invested an undisclosed amount of angel funding in the company.
The global media ecosystem is experiencing a period of disruption with new media platforms poised to exponentially out perform traditional media.
“We are at an intersection of media and technology, at a time where audiences across the world are more connected than ever before. We believe this will spawn several billion-dollar newmedia companies, and Glamrs has the right team and vision to emerge as the leader in this media revolution,” said Keshav Sanghi, former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs India and Founder of Ventureworks India.
The current round of funding will be used to expand the company’s content base and build key data analytics and technology assets.
At present, total media spendsin India are about Rs 45,000 crore, spread out across all media.It is slated to become a Rs 90,000 crore market by 2022. Currently, the digital media share is about 10%.
“With digital video poised to dominate internet traffic, we expect that media spends will shift toward digital video, thereby increasing the overall digital media spends to 25% of the media market in 3-5 years. Media for women’s lifestyle will make up well over 50% of the digital media spend,” says Zubin.
Glamrs is looking to be the pre-eminent women’s digital video media platform in a Rs. 10,000 crore market by 2022. “The longer term goal is to build an aggregated audience of over 150 million, taking advantage of the exponential growth in social media distribution channels,” concludes Zubin.