Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd will invest Rs 522 crore in its subsidiary Margo Networks Private Ltd as part of its strategy to ramp up its digital offering. Margo Networks owns a platform called SugarBox that enables internet services to work even in areas of bad or no network and empowers users to access them without an active data connection.
It creates a hyperlocal data distribution ecosystem by installing CDN Edge servers at key places of interest (POIs), which users can connect to over a local Wi-Fi network. SugarBox POIs include public transport, public places, rural areas, hotels & co-living spaces and malls.
Using the SugarBox platform, a user will be able to stream & download videos, listen to music, play games, learn on-the-go, shop online, pay bills, order food & groceries, book onward transport and access other digital services, all without dependence on cellular data or even the need of an internet connection.
In 2017, ZEEL had acquired 80 percent equity stake in SugarBox for Rs 75 crore.
Punit Goenka, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ZEEL said, “Our investment in SugarBox, gives a strong fillip to the overall digital business, sharpening its approach by many folds. The unique technology will enable us to serve content to consumers across the Nation, without being restricted by connectivity constraints. We are confident that this synergy will create a strong foundation for us, as we progress towards offering relevant content to consumers across platforms.”
Rohit Paranjpe, co-founder & CEO of SugarBox, added, “With this investment, SugarBox will commence commercial operations across exclusive long-term contracts like L&T Metro, Chennai Metro, NMMT, Kolkata Metro, Indian Railways and forge new partnerships to scale up its network.”
The SugarBox platform is expected to reach 25 million users daily and 300 million monthly unique users by mid-2022, unlocking an aggregate of 2.5 billion hours of monthly consumption in a near-captive environment, where access to internet services is otherwise limited due to poor connectivity. The Hindu Business Line