Indian label heavyweight, Saregama, acquires a majority stake in digital entertainment startup Pocket Aces for $20 million.
Saregama, the oldest and most prominent Indian music label, has acquired a 51.82% stake in digital entertainment startup, Pocket Aces, making a more significant transition into video. The Kolkata-headquartered label is paying around $20 million for the majority stake and plans to expand its holdings in the company in the future, deferring the future pricing to completion of certain metrics.
Pocket Aces produces short-form video content aimed at young people in India, with over 30 new items created daily. Viewers have connected with its predominantly humorous shows about real-world problems, leading to a surge in its popularity in recent years.
The company has also licensed IPs, such as the show “Little Things” to Netflix, and shared other content with platforms including Jio, MX Player, and the Vistara and Qatar Airways. Pocket Aces’ talent management arm, Clout, manages over 100 digital influencers and content creators, while its long-form studio, Dice Media, has created web series for Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.
“Acquiring Pocket Aces will add on a whole new dimension of IP and a distribution network of over 95 million followers, which Saregama will leverage to further popularize its music library among the 18-35 audience segment,” said Saregama in the company’s stock exchange filing. “It will also create synergies across the artist and influencer management and long-form video creation businesses of the two companies.”
Saregama’s deal with the startup follows the more than a century old firm’s continued ramp-up into broadening its video offerings. The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group-owned company currently produces over 300 videos in a quarter while expanding into several additional categories, such as the jukebox business Carvaan, within the last 10 years. Saregama has also invested in low-budget South Indian films and TV series for on-demand video streaming platforms.
Pocket Aces has raised around $20 million throughout its life, counting Peak XB and 3one4 Capital among its early investors. The company’s website reports the platform accumulates 700 million views monthly and reaches 50 million viewers weekly.