Times Internet Ltd (TIL) has invested $15 million (Rs 100 crore) to acquire a majority stake in Taskbucks, a mobile-only marketplace that rewards users for completing micro tasks.
Taskbucks, run by DigiSmart Digital Media Pvt Ltd, will use the money raised to expand ways in which brands can leverage its user base, a company statement said.
"We will soon be launching Taskbucks Pro, a premium version of Taskbucks where users can perform real-world tasks for brands, to earn more. We'll also be working closely with Times Internet to build our brand and drive growth of our mobile app," said Kumar Apurva, CEO, Taskbucks.
The Android app claims to have clocked about five million downloads.
Taskbucks assists brands with services such as app discovery, user retention, referral tasks, signups and social content sharing.
Taskbucks was founded in 2014 by Apurva, whose previous stints include senior roles at companies such as Info Edge, ValueFirst, Way2Online, and TIL.
Apurva said the company will soon add crowdsourced tasks, surveys, opinion polls, and offline photo tasks to offer more options for consumers and advertisers. The startup is targeting to cross 50 million downloads in the next two years.
"As hundreds of millions of Indians get connected with smartphones, Taskbucks is one of the few services that has an immediate and clear value proposition for the consumer," said Miten Sampat, VP - corporate development at TIL.
TIL is a subsidiary of Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL), which runs dailies The Times of India, The Economic Times besides other media properties.
Recently, TIL became the newest investor in Jaipur-based Girnar Software Pvt Ltd, which runs auto portals CarDekho.com and Gaadi.com besides product discovery engine Pricedekho.com. The investment was part of a transaction in which TIL sold auto portal Zigwheels to Girnar for an undisclosed amount.
Earlier this month, CIO Angel Network (CAN) had made an undisclosed amount of investment in mobile advertising platform PayTunes, run by Real Time Networks Pvt Ltd. PayTunes is an Android platform that helps brands reach their mobile consumers through audio ads. It replaces the ringtones of users' mobiles with ad jingles. In return, it allots reward points to users on every incoming call. Users can later redeem their points through free recharges and bill payments.
Nanolocal Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs rewards app Bounty, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Fireside Ventures, Mumbai Angels and MAPE Advisory Group. The Bounty platform works by letting users earn rewards each time they check in at a Bounty-recognised business location. It also lets retail businesses promote their offers through personalised and targeted campaigns.