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Homegrown OTT platform STAGE raises 3.5 crore in angel funding

Stage is a hyper-local OTT platform
Stage is a hyper-local OTT platform (Stage )

Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma also participated in the latest funding round. STAGE plans to hit 500 million users in the next five years.

Homegrown OTT platform STAGE on Friday said it had raised 3.5 crore in an angel round led by Inflection Point Ventures. Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and other investors Sprout Investments Fund, Giri Malpani (Malpani Ventures) also participated in the round.

The startup plans to use the capital to expand its content library and introduce a subscription service on its platform.

STAGE was launched in 2018 by Vinay Singhal, Shashank Vaishnav and Parveen Singhal. The homegrown OTT firm describes itself as the first and only dialect-based platform. It claims to have more than 1.5 million downloads in the Haryanvi dialect. The platform also offers Rajasthani dialect. The startup plans to expand its portfolio to include Bhojpuri, Maithili and Magadhi later this year. It is also aiming to hit 500 million users in the next five years.

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“We believe that languages are just an urban concept in our country, the moment we move beyond the urban settlements, everyone speaks a dialect. The great thing is most of these dialects are as big as some of the European languages. It is not just a great business opportunity to create quality content in these dialects, but absolutely necessary to preserve the unique diversity and culture of our country for the next generation,” said Vinay Singhal, Co-Founder & CEO, STAGE.

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STAGE had last raised 8.5 crore in an investment round led by Venture Catalysts. The funding round also saw the participation of MakeMyTrip, Sarcha Advisors, POSist, VIU, Janarthan Balasubrramanian, KAAF Investments, and ConversionX, according to an Entrepreneur report.

That said, the OTT space has seen massive traction in the country in the last couple of years. Driven by stay-home norms since the pandemic, the engagement on the apps has significantly grown. According to an October Pwc report, India is the world’s fastest-growing OTT market and is set to become the sixth-largest by 2024. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.6% to hit $2.9 billion in revenues, reported Livemint.

Earlier this week Netflix began testing a new Mobile+ plan in India. Available for 299, the plan offers users the ability to stream HD content to their mobile devices as well as access it on a computer or laptop.

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