New Delhi: Online video start-up Pocket Aces on Wednesday said it has raised $3 million from a group of investors led by Sequoia Capital India.
North Base Media, a digital-focused investment firm started by former managing editor of The Wall Street JournalMarcus Brauchi, along with T.V. Mohandas Pai-led Aarin Capital, 3one4 Capital and Axilor Ventures, among others, also participated in the Series A round.
Pocket Aces creates youth-focused online content and promotes it through Facebook and other media channels. It does a mix of web series, short-videos, memes and written content aimed at users in the age group of 18-35 and for consumption on the mobile platform.
The company said it will use the proceeds to invest in content creation, expand its team across creative and business profiles and explore new ways to monetize its content. It had raised an undisclosed angel round in 2014.
“Media designed for distribution over social platforms is immensely powerful, especially for new audiences who are accessing the content via mobile and often sharing content for the first time. Pocket Aces’ work has an authenticity and virality to it, that only a few companies around the world can match,” said Brauchi in a statement.
The start-up gained prominence from multiple short videos it released in early 2016 such as Confusing things girlfriend say, Things brother and sisters do and Every Patient ever, all of which crossed 10 million views on YouTube.
“We grew on the back of the short videos that went viral and when we got a good amount of loyal audience we graduated to web series,” said Anirudh Pandita, co-founder at Pocket Aces. It launched its first web series Not Fit in October 2015, which became the first online web series by an independent creator to be licensed out to a TV channel (NDTV Prime in this case).
Pocket Aces is now on to its second web series Little Things, having concluded its first season recently. It also pushes media content such as memes, pictures and short videos which talk about recent developments in a quirky manner, though its various channels. “We do short videos and articles as a means of engagement with our community,” explained Pandita.
The company works on a revenue model based on native advertising by brands which pay the company to create content around their brand message and requirements. It has so far catered to brands including Penguin Random House, Marico’s Saffola, Godrej’s Cinthol, FreeCharge, Tinder, Swiggy, VelvetCase.com and Little App.
Pocket Aces has three main properties: Filter Copy, its flagship product that focuses on short sharable contact; Gobble, which is centered on food content; and Dice Media, which produces the long-form web series.
It plans to produce at least six web series and about 500 short videos—between Gobble and Filter Copy—in the next one year, said Pandita.
According to the company, its three brands have got over 180 million views on the back of heavy social sharing, while filtercopy.com receives three million page monthly page views.