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Hotstar gets $153-mn cheque from Star India and Star US to take on competitors

Hotstar gets $153-mn cheque from Star India and Star US to take on competitors

Video streaming platform Hotstar, which is priming for digital rights to broadcast the upcoming Indian Premier League, has raised Rs 1,066 crore (about $153 million) from its parent companies Star India Private Limited and Star US Holdings, according to filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

The latest capital infusion values Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, the Mumbai-based entity that operates Hotstar, at $495.73 million (Rs 3,421.68 crore), according to TechCircle’s estimates.

Out of the Rs 1,066 crore invested by the parent entities, Rs 832 crore came from Star India while the rest was invested by Star US Holdings, according to the filings.

This is the second largest infusion in the OTT platform after Star India pumped in Rs 516 crore in the company in August 2018.

It gives the OTT platform enough ammunition to take on well-funded global rivals in India including Netflix and Amazon Prime, all of which dominate the video streaming market in India. Traditional movie production and distribution companies like EROS and Shemaroo have also launched their own OTT platforms. Hotstar also competes with VOOT, SonyLIV and ALT Balaji among others.

Launched in 2015, Hotstar claims to have 350 million downloads and over 150 million active users at the last count.

The Indian OTT market set to grow to $5 billion by 2023 from $500 million in 2018, a report by research consulting firm BCG showed.

In 2017, the report said that OTT players invested significant amounts to produce original content. Hotstar pumped in Rs 4,000 crore, Netflix Rs 500-600 crore and Amazon Prime Video Rs 500 crore. Sony LIV and ErosNow invested Rs 400 crore each while ALT Balaji spent Rs 120 crore, the report estimated.

The number of OTT players in India grew from nine in 2012 to 32 in 2018, it added.

News Corp, which owns both Star India Pvt. Ltd and Star US Holdings Inc. via 21st Century Fox, also owns the parent of this website.

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