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Pocket Aces Raises Debt Funding Of INR 17 Cr From Stride Ventures The funds will be utilized to scale the company's current content output and invest further in new content formats and distribution channels

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Stride Ventures

Venture debt fund Stride Ventures on Wednesday announced to have led an INR 17 crore debt round in digital entertainment company Pocket Aces.

The funding will be used for the company's growth journey with Stride Ventures' customized offerings and deep relationships across banks and corporates.

"Pocket Aces has truly pioneered digital content in India through its data-driven approach to content creation. More importantly, the company creates highly relatable content, making it appealing especially for the younger demographic. At Stride, we strive to partner with indigenous companies which have the ability to scale up rapidly by leveraging technology and we see Pocket Aces as a great addition to our portfolio," said Ishpreet Gandhi, founder and managing partner, Stride Ventures.

The company will utilize the capital raised to scale the current content output and invest further in new content formats and distribution channels.

In 2020, the platform released multiple shows across its channels that kept audiences gripped with stories of love, life, and the new normal and has worked with over 100 brands across sectors including Tinder, Hindustan Unilever, PureMe, Bacardi, Unacademy, and Mondelez, among others.

At the same time, its game streaming and e-sports platform Loco has hosted some of the biggest mobile gaming tournaments India has ever seen. It also saw entering into strategic partnerships with Red Bull, Fnatic, NBA 2K League, and other leading brands in their categories. The year also saw the company launch Clout, its talent management division, which exclusively represents over 60 of the digital industry's finest and most popular faces.

"2020 was an unprecedented challenge for humanity and we were privileged to entertain the Indian audience during this difficult time. The lockdown accelerated the adoption of digital media as the primary source of consumer entertainment, and so we innovated rapidly to ensure that we could continue to thrive and increase content output in this new normal. As a result, we saw growth in all our major business lines this year. As we go into 2021, we are more excited than ever about the size of the entertainment opportunity in India and are happy to partner with Stride Ventures on our growth journey. This debt instrument is one of the first of its kind for the sector and we think it underlines Pocket Aces' leadership of the sector as well as the innovation focus of Stride Ventures," added Aditi Shrivastava, co-founder, Pocket Aces.

The company operates India's largest socially distributed content network which includes five brands FilterCopy, Dice Media, Gobble. Jambo, and Nutshell.

The company's socially distributed video network has amassed >13 billion video views with a current run rate of over 500 million monthly views. The company claims that Loco is one of the fastest-growing apps in the country today with more than 24 million registered users with active users spending over 30 minutes daily on the app whereas Clout manages more than 60 actors and creators exclusively.

The platform works with advertisers including PepsiCo, HUL, P&G, Unacademy, AMFI, Modelez, and Flipkart who utilize its content and distribution strength to achieve their marketing goals.

The company creates original content on OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, MXPlayer, and licenses its content across mediums such as TV, in-flight entertainment, and international platforms.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

Former Staff

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