Rusk Media raises $9.5 million in funding led by Audacity VC, DAOL Investment
Rusk Media, an Indian digital entertainment company, has raised $9.5 million in an extended series A funding round, led by Seoul-based DAOL Investment and Audacity Ventures.
The round also saw participation from existing investors such as InfoEdge Ventures, Mistry Ventures, Nazara Games and Nodwin Gaming.
With this round, the company has now raised a total of $12 million in the past three years.
“We have raised a Series A round at a post-money valuation of $34 million,” Mayank Yadav, founder and CEO, Rusk Media, told. “We started the company three years ago after raising $250,000 and started creating social media content for digital natives, the gen Zs, who were consuming everything online. It’s a wide-open market that was disrupted by user-generated content (UGC) and nobody was making content for them. We identified the whitespace and have done 500 million views already, and we are profitable in this business. Earlier this year, we raised $2 million from InfoEdge in a seed round to enter the gaming entertainment ecosystem.”
The New Delhi-based company is known for its content and IPs on social channels Alright! and Playground, with over 500 million monthly views, and their shows on OTT platforms, including Amazon’s Mini TV.
“We have confidence in Rusk’s competitiveness in IP creation across fiction, non-fiction, and e-sports entertainment. As investors from Korea, we have seen the immense potential of locally generated premium content and the scalability of strong IPs. We believe Rusk is well positioned to become an entertainment powerhouse with their plans for their IPs and IP-led gaming platform,” said Chihoon Hyun, Partner at DAOL Investment.
Kabir Kochhar, Managing Partner, Audacity Venture Capital, a recently launched Mediatech specialist fund, added, “Rusk understands its consumers intimately and its latest social gaming initiative will benefit the whole web3 and gaming ecosystem by bringing in the one thing that the web3 community needs most – relevant users.”
Rusk Media, in partnership with Nodwin Gaming, recently launched gaming entertainment IP, Playground, built with India’s largest gaming entertainers including CarryMinati, Triggered Insaan, ScoutOP, and Mortal, and garnered over 200 million views – creating a new space within the gaming entertainment ecosystem.
The IP is slated to go global for the upcoming edition in December 2022 – January 2023.
“Our future plans are two-fold—firstly, scaling our content with OTT partners via our IPs in India and the rest of the world, with Playground leading the way for our expansion globally. Secondly, we are building a UGC-led social gaming platform that will enable game developers to create games and publish them on our platform using our game developer app that plans to leverage blockchain technology,” added Yadav.
While the company presently creates entertainment video content for their audiences, they will soon launch a UGC-led social gaming platform. UGC game creation is becoming widely popular globally with platforms such as Roblox becoming staple destinations for the age group of 8–14-year-olds in the US and Southeast Asia, and Rusk’s platform will enable game developers to create games using freely available Rusk IP assets.
In the past, Rusk has worked with key brands like Mondelez International, Perfetti Van Melle, and Jubilant FoodWorks, among others, for their Alright! brand. The company has also partnered with brands like KFC and ITC for their gaming entertainment IP Playground, and they claim to have given them access to a key media-dark audience.
The second edition of Playground, due from October to January, aims to work with their existing and new partners to deliver live eSports and reality entertainment to a much larger audience in the 13–22 age group.
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