Indian digital entertainment company Hungama celebrated a new funding round by signing up a slate of content from BBC Worldwide.
Hungama licensed BBC programs including crime drama “Prey” (Series 1) – in which John Simm stars as a man on the run, desperate to clear his name; “Not Safe for Work,” a comedy drama that follows a woman who is reluctantly relocated from London to Northampton as part of public spending cuts; and sci-fi, comedy and horror drama “Save Our Skins.”
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation, also signed a slate deal with Viu, a rival Indian OTT service that is part of Vuclip. Viu picked up the modern reworking of Tolstoy’s epic “War and Peace,” starring Paul Dano, Lily James and James Norton; and BAFTA-nominated “Doctor Foster.”
“With more and more Indians going online to watch their favorite dramas, we are excited to work with Hungama and Viu to satisfy viewers’ demands by bring critically acclaimed and highly rated BBC programs to their subscribers,” said Myleeta Aga, SVP & general manager of BBC Worldwide (India). Hungama’s founder and CEO, Neeraj Roy said that India continues to gain some 8 million new Internet users per month, with 90% of digital consumption being driven by mobile.
Earlier this week it emerged that Hungama had raised $25 million of fresh capital from a group of investors headed by Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi. Existing investors including Bessemer Venture Partners and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala also followed the deal.
Hungama said that it will use the capital to expand its content library and technology for its mobile app platforms Hungama Music and Hungama Play for premium video.
Xiaomi has equity interests in rival Chinese streaming platforms Youku Tudou and iQIYI and a production pact with China’s leading film studio Huayi Brothers Media. The deal with Hungama is its first investment in India, where it is already a manufacturer and is the second ranking handset supplier.