Sourav Ganguly to pitch in funds to drive startup co Flickstree, a curated video platform

Calling itself the country’s first personal video magazine, the curated and personalised video platform has free-to-watch videos

Curation is the name of the game and who does it best is the winner. Be it news, views or films and videos, curation is what the reader and viewer wants as time is a commodity in short supply. Sourav Ganguly, India’s cricketing legend and former captain, has decided to endorse and put his money in Flickstree, a Mumbai-based startup that makes viewing films, health and fitness shows, short films -- a range of 22 categories at present -- while on the go.

The name Flickstree comes from two words – 'Flick' from the eponymous word film, 'Tree' for its branches which signifies various categories of the personal video magazine.  The tech-entertainment company started by Saurabh Singh, Rahul Jain and Nagender Sangra in 2014, was officially launched in August 2016.

Calling itself the country’s first personal video magazine, the curated and personalised video platform has  free-to-watch videos. The free-to-watch online videos are compiled from social networks, media sites, and blogs and then is created into a custom user video feed. The AI based on patent pending technology, allows it to effectively curate and personalize the experience for its users.

Flickstree has bucketed 20+ video categories that users can currently follow, and they are constantly adding more categories on the platform.

(L-R: Rahul Jain, Saurabh Singh, Sourav Ganguly and Nagender Sangra

L-R: Rahul Jain, Saurabh Singh, Sourav Ganguly and Nagender Sangra

The startup has raised a seed round of Rs 3 crore capital from investors Venture Catalysts, Anirban Aditya & Ankit Aditya (Aditya Group, Kolkata) and Moksh Sports Ventures, along with Sourav Ganguly. Venture Catalysts is leading the round. The seed money should be able to see the company through in the first 12 months to complete technology know-how and hire manpower hiring. Six months down the line, the company expects to go in for pre-Series A fund, said Rahul Jain, COO. The startup expects to breakeven after two years, he said.

“The free-to-watch video space is extremely fragmented, with multiple players creating tons of video content. These videos are published exclusively on separate platforms – a user who has interest in several categories cannot install multiple apps and keep browsing them separately, also owing to limited phone storage. This leads to poor video discovery. Flickstree is trying to solve this consumer problem”, said Satadru Dutta, co-founder, Moksh Sports Ventures and Business Development consultant to Flickstree, who was instrumental in bringing Sourav Ganguly and Aditya Group on board.

“Digital is the future of India across all fields. And going by the country’s Digital India vision, I decided to invest in Flickstree because they’re at the forefront of innovative cutting edge technology and have great founders to realize their vision”, said Sourav Ganguly. While different users have different passions, the platform helps users follow their passion and create their personal video magazine. Such a model has the potential to change the way videos are consumed, said Ganguly.

Ganguly will also bring in strategic partnerships on board.

"Users today have interests in various fields. While currently users can create only a single video magazine on Flickstree based on their interests, going forward I have asked the founders to enable users create multiple such magazines that users can create and enjoy,” Ganguly added.

Though the startup has 24 categories as of now, it plans to tie up with major players in a few months to partner with news and consume their Application program interface (APIs).

The startup is looking to reach Rs 20 million in topline over the next few years. Since it is not a India-centric product, it plan to venture into markets in Australia and Indonesia after 18 months of operations.

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