India online video market has grown into a hot piece of cake. And everyone seems to want a pie. Next in the queue, Chinese conglomerate Tencent and payments major Paytm, who as per Bloomberg report are planning to invest in Times Internet-owned streaming service MX Player.
It’s quite surprising that Tencent and Alibaba’s portfolio coming together to back an Indian company. Even in China, they have rarely joined hands as far as investment in startups is concerned. Well, a few are an exception including Meituan-Dianping.
Citing sources the report mentioned that Tencent and Paytm are in advanced stages to pump $100 million in the OTT firm. While the participation of Tencent with Paytm appears unlikely, it’s worth noting that Tencent had backed TIL’s music streaming app Gaana.
So far, Tencent has no stake in Indian OTT space but it has been eyeing to enter the burgeoning video streaming market triggered by cheap high-speed 4G data. Widening its horizon in the OTT market, the Chinese behemoth had recently launched a video streaming service in Thailand.
The deal will give Tencent foothold in India whereas Paytm would make an entry in the crowded video streaming space. Paytm and Alibaba have reportedly been eyeing OTT space for over two years.
As per last reported figure, MX Player boasts of 175 million monthly, 70 million daily active users and around 650 million downloads worldwide. Globally, the MAUs and DAUs of the platform stand at 275 million and 100 million respectively. Times Internet had acquired MX Player for about $200 million in 2018.
MX Player claims to generate about two-thirds of its viewership from smaller towns and competes with players including Hotstar, Zee5, Voot and several others. With a hybrid model (paid + free) Hotstar has a leadership position in the video streaming space.
According to Entrackr’s sources based out of China, it’s highly unlikely that Tencent and Paytm would co-invest in MX Player. Nevertheless, if they do so, it would be the first such deal where Tencent and portfolio of its arch-nemesis come together.
While nothing is impossible when it comes to business, it would be exciting to see if the duo comes together to back MX Player.