Airtel picks up stake in online writers platform Juggernaut Books

Juggernaut

Telecom major Bharti Airtel has acquired a strategic stake in mobile-first publishing startup Juggernaut Books, a digital platform to discover and read high-quality affordable books and to submit amateur writing.

Bharti Airtel through its wholly owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments has acquired a strategic equity stake in Juggernaut Books, however, Airtel did not disclose the investment details.

Juggernaut’s former investors include Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, and Boston Consulting Group India CEO, Neeraj Aggarwal.

The digital platform for amateur writers, Juggernaut will use the investment from Airtel to ramp up content acquisition, digital marketing and prepare for a subscription offering launch in the next few months,

“Juggernaut is an exciting digital platform and complements our content vision. We look forward to working with them and supporting the next phase of their growth journey,” Bharti Airtel Chief Financial Officer Badal Bagri said, reported ET.

Launched in April 2016 by Chiki Sarkar and Durga Raghunath, Juggernaut’s has amassed close to one million downloads across Android and ioS. Chiki was a publisher of Penguin India and founder-publisher of Random House India. Durga was CEO of Network18 Digital and also founded Firstpost.com

The writer’s platform in the past six months has received just under 500 stories with nine of them securing publishing contracts. Its catalog includes authors like Arundhati Roy, Twinkle Khanna, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sunny Leone and others.

Earlier, in September 2015, Juggernaut raised Rs 15 crores in funding from FabIndia’s founder William Bissell, Nandan Nilekani and Neeraj Aggarwal.

Last month, Hyderabad-based Kahaniya.com, an online storytelling platform in regional languages, had raised $200,000 in a seed funding round from a bunch of undisclosed US-based NRI’s (non-resident Indians).

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