China’s Tencent and India’s Times Internet have participated in a $110 million funding round for rapidly growing Indian streamer MX Player, the companies announced on Wednesday. MX is now valued at $500 million, sources familiar with the matter at the Mumbai bourse told Variety.
The streamer is also investing in 20 new originals, which will raise their number on the platform to 35 by March 2020. They include Tamil-language political biopic “Queen” by Gautham Vasudevan Menon, Marathi-language revenge drama “Ek Thi Begum,” and Hindi-language crime thriller “Call It Magic.” They will join existing shows that include “ImMature,” “Thinkistan,” “Flames,” and “Hello Mini.”
Having begun as a video playback app, MX has 175 million monthly active users in India and 275 million worldwide. In June 2018, Times Internet, part of India’s giant Times conglomerate acquired a controlling stake in MX for $140 million from Chinese mobile games outfit Zenjoy.
“MX Player has the potential to change mobile entertainment. It plays an important part of (our) strategy of being the largest consumer platform in India,” said Satyan Gajwani, vice chairman, Times Internet.
“Within a relatively short period of time, MX Player has leveraged its vast user base and rich content library to be one of the leading video-streaming services in India,” said Jeffrey Li, managing partner, Tencent Investment. Tencent has also invested in the Times group’s music streamer Gaana.
The Indian OTT market is currently valued at $3.3 billion. Driven by expanding smartphone penetration, it is set to grow at 29% annually to reach $9 billion a year by 2024, per a recent KPMG industry report.