Bharti Softbank ("BSB"), a JV between Bharti Enterprises and Softbank Corp, has acquired an equity stake in ScoopWhoop Media, which runs popular website ScoopWhoop.com through BSB Portal.
BSB Portal will have an effective stake of 36.5 per cent in ScoopWhoop. The partnership will combine the strengths of both - content creation for Indian youth by ScoopWhoop and a mobile-optimised technology platform and distribution by BSB for Indian consumers. BSB has invested $1.6 million in the property.
Commenting on the partnership, Madhu Nori, CEO, BSB Portal, says, "About half of India's population are under 25 and the use of social networks with smartphones is growing rapidly among this segment. As a result, media consumption patterns are rapidly evolving and this space is ready for disruption."
India is the world's second-largest mobile market with over 900 million subscribers. A large population of youth and a fast-growing economy are expected to drive data usage on mobiles with the proliferation of 3G and 4G services and increasing smartphone penetration. India is also expected to become the second-largest mobile broadband market globally within the next four years with 367 million mobile broadband connections by 2016.
Sattvik Mishra, co-founder and CEO, ScoopWhoop, says, "In BSB we found the perfect partner who believes in our vision and back us both financially and strategically. I'd also like to thank Sidharth Rao and Haresh Chawla for their constant guidance and advice. With the backup of right partner and advisors, we are gunning for the No 1 spot."
ScoopWhoop is a listicle (article based around a list)-based website with content that targets the working class younger age segment. Listicle-based websites have been on the rise in India over the past few years with other majors being Quickstir by Indiatimes and Buzzfeed's India specific segment. Bharti Softbank had earlier invested in Ola Cabs, Snapdeal and Hike Messenger in India.