afaqs!

Times Internet invests Rs 18 crore in Instamedia

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | September 10, 2010
Instamedia runs 15 websites and also offers technology platforms or solutions to digital publishers

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!.

He adds that TIL will infuse cash into the company and with this, it will become a minority stakeholder in Instamedia. Satyan Gajwani, director, business development, TOI, will join the Instamedia board. Other minority stakeholders include venture capital firms Sweat and Blood venture group, led by Vishal Gondal of Indiagames.com and The Morpheus.

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).

Interestingly, the mentioned websites receive more than 4 million unique visitors and 8-9 million page views every month, although they are not much known in India. However, they get good traction in the US and European markets.

"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."

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