Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which operates, video streaming platform Hotstar has secured Rs 1,113.76 crore from its parent companies Star India Private Limited, India and Star Us Holdings Subsidiary LLC, USA, according to financial data accessed by business intelligence platform, Tofler. Of this, Star India Private Limited, India has bought shares worth Rs 869.47 crore while the remaining shares worth Rs 244.29 crore has been bought by Star Us Holdings Subsidiary LLC, USA. The recently rebranded Disney+Hotstar video streaming service has raised Rs 1,113.76 crores in lieu of approximately 278 crore shares.
The funding comes after the Walt Disney Company revealed that Hotstar has nearly 8 million paid users in India. This is the second big funding for the video streaming platform this year. In March Star India and Star US holdings had invested Rs 1,066 crore ($153 million) into Hotstar, right ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) – T20 tournament which is held between April and May every year. However, this year due to the spread of the novel Coronavirus – IPL has been cancelled.
Launched in 2015 in India, Hotstar has emerged as one of the top over-the-top (OTT) platforms in India. According to industry estimates, most of Hotstar’s growth is attributed to sports including the broadcast of cricket tournaments. With the Walt Disney Company recently rolling out Disney+ in India, in association with Hotstar, it is believed that – the move will provide an edge to the streaming platform to compete against the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
It should be noted that The Walt Disney Company acquired Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $71 billion in 2019. As part of this deal, Disney gained ownership of TV broadcaster Star India, which controls 60 local TV channels and the streaming platform Hotstar.