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Exclusive: Sequoia-backed digital media startup Pocket Aces raises $1.35 mn from existing investors

Exclusive: Sequoia-backed digital media startup Pocket Aces raises $1.35 mn from existing investors
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Digital media startup Pocket Aces Pictures Pvt. Ltd is raising $1.35 million (Rs 9.36 crore) from returning investors Aarin Capital, 3one4Capital and Axilor Ventures, according to its latest regulatory filings.

The infusion may be part of a larger funding round that the Mumbai-based startup is expected to announce soon, people privy to the transaction told TechCircle on the condition of anonymity.

Email queries to Pocket Aces co-founders Ashwin Suresh and Anirudh Pandita did not get responses till the time of publishing this report.

By TechCircle’s estimates, the startup is raising the $1.35 million at a valuation of $40-42 million (Rs 278.46-Rs 293 crore).

The latest infusion comes about three months after it raised $443,254 (Rs 3.08 crore) from 3one4 Capital. Late last year, returning investor Sequoia Capital India led a $1.43 million (Rs 10.02 crore) round, according to the company’s previous filings with the corporate affairs ministry.

Prior to this, the company’s last major funding event was in December 2016 when Sequoia led a $3 million (Rs 20 crore then) round. Other investors in that round included North Base Media, TV Mohandas Pai-led Aarin, 3one4 Capital, Axilor, the accelerator and early-stage fund backed by Infosys founders SD Shibulal and Kris Gopalakrishnan, and FreeCharge founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon.

Pocket Aces

Pocket Aces was founded in 2014 by Suresh and Pandita, both former investment banking and private equity professionals. The company conceptualises, creates and distributes content through its social media and online channels – Dice Media, FilterCopy, Gobble and Loco.

Dice offers shareable content on articles, videos and memes. Dice is its web series division through which it showcases multi-episode seasonal fictional content. Gobble showcases content on food while Loco is a live trivia game show app.

Last year, media reports said that Netflix had partnered Dice to create scripted shows for its global subscribers. Pocket Aces acquired Loco in January last year in a reported $1 mn deal.

During the financial year ended March 2018, the company’s operational revenues grew four-fold to Rs 8.25 crore from Rs 1.74 crore the previous year, according to its filings. Net losses widened to Rs 7.89 crore from Rs 3.07 crore the previous year. Gross expenses also widened to Rs 16.90 crore from Rs 5.29 crore the previous year.

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