Sourav Ganguly announces his innings in the startup world, invests in an entertainment company-Flickstree
Former India captain and Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Sourav Ganguly started his new innings as an investor by investing in Flickstree, a tech-entertainment company. The company has raised a seed capital of Rs 3 crore from Ganguly, Venture Catalysts, Anirban Aditya & Ankit Aditya (Aditya Group, Kolkata) and Moksh Sports Ventures.
“It’s like going back to my playing days. When I started playing, I didn’t know I will become captain one day. But there was a strong belief. It is the same belief which prompted me to invest in this company,” says Ganguly about his debut in the world of startups.
Founded in 2014 by Saurabh Singh, Rahul Jain and Nagender Sangra, Flickstree launched its platform in August 2016. It curates free-to-watch videos from social networks, media sites and blogs to create a custom user video feed. The Artificial Intelligence technology allows Flickstree to personalise the experience for its users who can also create their own ‘video magazine’ or library. It is an entirely ad-based model, and content will be sourced from platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion and other news websites.
“India is witnessing a video boom and with the launch of 4G, it has suddenly exploded further. With so many content producers creating quality content, it becomes difficult for users to discover videos across multiple platforms. Flickstree is trying to organise video content from the free web for users,” says Saurabh Singh, CEO, Flickstree.
Ganguly says cricket and entertainment are an integral part of India, which makes this a win-win combination. He goes on to add that digital is the future of India. “For instance, when I started playing with Sachin (Tendulkar), he hardly spoke… his bat did all the talking. But today, you log on to Twitter, and you see a new tweet from him [almost every day]. This is an indication of the changing world,” says the former India cricketer, adding that he is excited to work with a team of young boys.
Interestingly, Ganguly joins a long list of cricketers who have taken to entrepreneurship. For instance, Yuvraj Singh has invested in close to 10 startups which include EduKart.com, Jet Set Go and licensing startup Black White Orange; Virat Kohli owns the gym chain Chisel and fashion brand Wrogn; Tendulkar has invested in companies like Smaaash Entertainment, fashion brand True Blue and online travel agency Musafir; Mahendra Singh Dhoni has invested in SportsFit World and footwear brand Seven; while Robin Uthappa has invested in HealtheMind and iTiffin.
Currently, Flickstree is available on Android devices and has a website. There are plans to launch the iOS version soon. The founders also intend to expand to international markets like Indonesia and Australia, where mobile phone penetration is higher. Flickstree is also a Facebook-backed company via their FBStart programme.