New Delhi-based travel and entertainment startup, PressPlay has raised $2.2 million funding from Sequoia Capital and a group of eight angel investors including Jason Hirschhorn, Jarett Posner, and Amit Bhatiani. The raised funding will go towards upgrading its technology, geographical expansion as well as in adding other services which will give users access to Whatsapp and Facebook. In August 2014, the firm had raised $500,000 in angel funding from a group of unnamed investors.
The startup had started off by renting-out tablets with preloaded content for Rs 100 to passengers in public transports. But it recently pivoted to an app-based model, as mostly bus travelers in India have smartphones. Travelers can now get connected to Wi-Fi in the bus and can access PressPlay’s app called ‘Touchplay’ on their smartphones. The app is loaded with a range of 30 movies, 1,000 songs, 10 documentaries and cartoons.
Launched in December 2013 by former Zomato executives, PressPlay claims to have 50,000 users a month and aiming to double it in two months. To start with, the ex-Zomato sales professionals Anand Sinha and George Abraham, launched a pilot project in April 2014 by travelling to Amritsar in a bus with 10-tablets preloaded with five movies each. They pitched for Rs 100 and managed to rent them out to fellow bus travelers. Later, the company launched Wi-Fi services across select public buses in India where the users can enjoy the music, videos, videos, games on their own Wi-Fi connected devices
To provide its services, the startup has tied up with eight state transport operators, including Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh, besides 50 private operators. Currently, it is available in about 600 buses across 14 cities and hope to be in atleast 10 more cities in the coming six months and get the 10,000 customers using the application everyday.