Published: 3/4/2021

Good afternoon, it's Thursday and I'm glad this has been a relatively quiet week. Some news from the US where Oscar Health IPO'd yesterday and Okta acquired Auth0 for $6.5B (Auth0 was previously valued at $1.9B in a financing round last year). Coming to today's stories, we have MXPlayer in talks to raise a $100M round (potentially becoming a unicorn) and the newest Sequoia Surge company.

  • http://bit.ly/30cCvcI: MX Player in talks to raise over $100M in a new round
  • ➡️ With all the other short-video parent companies raising capital in this timeframe, it would only make sense that MX player (which owns and operates MX TakaTak) is up next. And the company is in talks with existing and new investors to raise a financing round upwards of $100M that might value the company over $1B.

    ➡️ I also just for a second want to talk about Times Internet (TIL) and how MXPlayer became a giant in India- In late 2017, TIL invested roughly $140M to acquire a majority stake in the Korean-based MX Player, which had already been downloaded over 350M times in India by that point.

    ➡️ The company then raised $110M in a round led by Tencent and Times Internet in 2019 that would value the company at $500M, as the company started to produce more original content and have more licensed content on the platform. In 2020, the company also released their short-video app, MX TakaTak, which along with Josh and Moj has captured the void left behind by the TikTok ban in the country.

    ➡️ Building in the consumer short-video space is certainly very burn heavy with the race to acquire and retain users so it would make sense why MX Player, and its competitors, are raising new capital currently. And this seems like an interesting battle over the next couple of years along with MX Player also focusing on its core video OTT product as well.

    2. http://tcrn.ch/3bczUFK: Sequoia Surge invests $2M in sales engagement platform Outplay

    ➡️ With the newest Surge probably kicking off in a couple of month, Outplay announced today that it has raised $2M from Sequoia's Surge program as part of their seed round (I can't tell if there were any other investors who also participated in this round).

    ➡️ Outplay is a Sales Engagement Platform and what that means is that they help sales team automate and track tasks they need to accomplish while they're talking to leads and chasing down deals. The company was founded in Jan 2020 and the company already has 300 customers- mostly based in North America and Europe.

    ➡️ It seems like some of Outplay's biggest competitors are already billion dollar companies, but Outplay's edge is their ease of use for sales teams as well as its integrations.

    ➡️ The other thing that struck me recently was that how well a job Sequoia has done of masking signalling risk through their Surge program. Sequoia now invests in ~40 companies at the seed stage every year through Surge, but doesn't have to lead their A's and beyond, and it seems so far that Sequoia not leading the A's hasn't affected the companies' abilities to raise additional rounds.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/BeingPractical/status/1367101187502137346

    If you received this as a forward, consider subscribing here 👉🏽 keepingupwithindia.com/api/wa