The Times of India (TOI) group has invested Rs 18 crore in a three year old Shimla based firm, Instamedia, through its digital arm, Times Internet Limited (TIL).
"It is a series A funding and not a Times Private Treaties deal," clarifies Ankit Maheshwari, founder and chief executive officer, Instamedia, in a conversation with afaqs!.
Instamedia runs a content network and also offers technology platforms or solutions to digital publishers.
The content network business consists of many sites across various genres, including Bornrich.org (lifestyle), Gizmowatch.com (gadgets), Hometone.org (smart homes), Greendiary.com (green living), Thedesignblog.org (design), AutoMotto.org (automobile), Styleguru.org (fashion), Celebguru.org (entertainment) and Instablogs.com (news and citizen journalism).
"Most of the traffic on the Instamedia content network arrives from the US (60 per cent) and European (about 25 per cent) markets and a majority of the visitors are not non-resident Indians (NRIs)," says Maheshwari.
"30 per cent of the traffic on Instamedia sites gets routed through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg.com and StumbleUpon.com, while another 30 per cent comes via search engines," Maheshwari adds.
Across categories, lifestyle (60 per cent) and technology (20 per cent) related content generates the majority of traffic for Instamedia.
The technology business of Instamedia includes a content serving platform called Instapress, which online publishers can use to serve content. Maheshwari says, "Instamedia has already deployed Instapress platform across a few online properties, including UTV Bindass (Bindass.com) and UTV Action (UTVAction.in).
Maheshwari claims that Instamedia is a profitable company.
The company plans to use the funding to beef up its content producing team. In an official communiqué, the company mentions, "The proceeds of the strategic investment from TIL will help grow the company's network of writers and accelerate its technology platform development. The company also plans to launch local sites, targeting the European and US audiences."