TV Guide iDubba Raises Angel Funding From Rajan Anandan & Others, Releases Public Beta
Three-and-a-half year old iNiD Digimedia Pvt Ltd, which launched TV program guide iDubba, has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from a bunch of investors including Rajan Anandan (MD, Google India), Srikant Sastri (country chairperson Vivaki India), Abhishek Rungta & Pallav Nadhani (Founders of Seeders) among others. It was inducted in the Morpheus's startup accelerator program one-and-a half year back.
The Noida-based startup is basically a platform that brings social element to TV shows, by letting viewers discover shows based on their profile likes and dislikes. In order to get alerted about their programs of choice, iDubba has a built-in recommendation engine and an alerts platform called iAlerts. The recommendations are based on a technology which matches users' taste with programs she/he might be interested in watching. It also has a feature 'Tune in', to capture viewers' TV viewing interest.
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.
After being in testing phase for more than a year, iDubba launched its public beta version three weeks ago. It now caters to all of English and Hindi language TV channels in India comprising over 150 channels and more than 18,000 shows and movies in its database.
Some of the recent things it has incorporated include: a new recommendation engine (uses Mahout recommendation libraries and taste based recommendation algorithm), pictorial guide page, intelligent alerts based on keywords and other interesting things like Live, Premiere and IMDB and rewards for watching TV.
The angel funding round will be used to improve service and user experience for the consumers. The team is also working towards creating an android app to tune in to any program via Web or SMS.
iDubba has seen a total of 70,000+ activities of which 25,000+ (15,000 reminders and 10,000 tune-ins) activities happened in the last weeks (after beta release). It already has 50+ active players playing the leaderboard and fighting for rewards going to be given this month and more than 1,200 people are actively tuning into the programs, as per the firm.
iDubba was founded by Rabi Gupta and Ashish Kumar in 2009. An alumnus of Birla Institute of Technology, Gupta has earlier worked with Wipro. A BTech in Computer Science from Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Kumar has previously worked with Pionero Technology.
Talking about the investment, Abhishek Rungta, "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."