Serial entrepreneur Vikash Samota founded his first startup back in 2010 after a three-year stint as an engineer at AT&T in the US.
His company, Cyberlinks, did end-to-end development of mobile products. In fact, the genesis of MultiTV happened while he was running the services business at Cyberlinks.
“We realised that video can be the next big thing, and that we needed a very simplified hassle-free video solution for enterprises,” Vikash tells YourStory.
Cut to 2015, when Vikash was back in India setting up MultiTV from its Gurugram HQ. With a team of 10 employees, the startup launched its first product in 2016.
The founder explains, “We wanted to address the lack of a solid video tech platform. In 2016, we started our first case with new-age media companies, such as SonyLIV, Ditto TV [which became ZEE5] and several others that were rejigging their business models from conventional TV broadcasting to OTT, and telecom operators [Vodafone, Idea] that wanted to offer video streaming as a service.”
Product offerings and use cases
built a full-stack vertically integrated video tech platform that could serve a variety of use cases across industries.
These include OTT streaming, live broadcasting, virtual conferences, exhibitions, webinars, online trade fairs, product launches, sales events, corporate AGMs, COVID-19 fundraisers, digital concerts, sports events, and so on.
The startup fulfils personalised video experiences for its clients through a bouquet of products, including Creator (a white-label OTT solution) beLIVE (an all-in-one live virtual and online events platform), Streamline (a video transcoding and encoding solution), and Pulse (Live TV advertising platform).
Speaking about its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model, Vikash says,
“We started offering solutions to broadcasters and over the two to three years, we created a full-stack tech platform that can be used by both broadcasters and other enterprises. One of the major changes we have witnessed is that video adoption is accelerating, and video streaming/viewing is becoming more personalised.”
MultiTV serves 1 million videos of content per month via its tech platforms
By mid-2019, MultiTV had serviced over 50 enterprise clients, including Fortune 500 companies. Its revenues were growing 100 percent annually.
But, come 2020, and growth would skyrocket.
As the world went all-virtual after the COVID-19 outbreak, the demand for MultiTV’s PaaS solution surged. Practically every business event went online almost overnight.
The startup’s customer base grew 5X to 250+ clients, and revenues jumped 300 percent within a year of the pandemic. “Post-pandemic, several businesses that never imagined going digital were forced to digitise their businesses,” says Vikash.
He further elaborates,
“Since the beginning of COVID-19, we have powered more than 2,000 virtual events for Indian and global companies. We have hosted AGMs, digital concerts, expos, job fairs, and other use cases. We have seen 10,000+ speakers across a dozen countries, and approximately 10 million people have attended these live events.”
Infographic: YS Design
Today, MultiTV serves videos to 50+ million consumers, and processes over one million hours of video content per month. It also claims that over 20 percent of daily OTT viewership in India is powered by its video architecture.
Some of its customers include legacy companies like Asian Paints, Reliance Industries, BPCL, Audi, Honda; trade and industry bodies such as CII, IFFI, and TiE; startups and tech giants like Flipkart, Amazon, Samsung, Xiaomi, Microsoft, Cisco; entertainment companies like SonyLIV, MX Player, Voot, 9XM, and others.
“We have our own video data centre and earth station. In addition to the tech, we offer the highest level of data protection and privacy to clients,” says the founder.
MultiTV operates on a two-pronged revenue model. Enterprise customers are either charged a monthly subscription for the platform, or they pay per event.
“Our services can be availed for a nominal fee of $100 for a live event up to a million dollars for a full-stack subscription — what our largest client pays,” Vikash reveals.
MultiTV has hosted events for the government, as well as industry bodies like CII, IFFI, TIE, etc.
Future roadmap and the PaaS opportunity
Riding on the upsurge in the virtual events, OTT streaming, and live video space, MultiTV is targeting a turnover of $100 million in the next three years.
The founder says, “The drive towards digitisation of businesses using video tech is going to happen at an incredible speed. KPMG predicted that by 2022, 80 percent of revenue growth [of businesses] would come from digital offerings and operations. There is no reason why companies will not want to be on the transformation curve now, and they are turning to partners like us to help them make those moves.”
MultiTV expects its customer base and revenues to double by 2020. It is also putting in place “building blocks” for international expansion. “This year our team size will double to 150. We are in the process of hiring senior global talent for sales and marketing in the US and European markets,” Vikash says.
The startup has raised only an angel round led by Nipun Sahni (Partner at Apollo Global) so far. He also serves as the mentor and advisor to the management.
Its competitors include Hubilo, Airmeet, Brella, and others. However, unlike them, MultiTV owns the product IP, which it believes will serve as a competitive advantage in a global PaaS market estimated to be worth $164.3 billion by 2026, as per KPMG.
Vikash sums up the market opportunity by saying, “Tech adoption due to the pandemic has been spectacular and, in our view, irreversible. Businesses have realised that to scale globally and stay ahead of the curve, they have to invest in video tech. And we will continue to be in growth mode post the pandemic too.”
Title image: freepik.com