Airtel picks up stake in Digital Publishing Startup Juggernaut

04 December 2017, India:

India’s largest telecommunications service provider Bharati Airtel (“Airtel”) today said that its wholly owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments Limited (“Nettle”), acquired a strategic equity stake in Digital Publishing Startup Juggernaut Books (“Juggernaut”).

Airtel is trying to build an open content ecosystem and to bring world-class digital content to its customers. This investment is in line with that plan. This investment will help Juggernaut to ramp up content acquisition, digital marketing and prepare for a subscription offering launch in the next few months.

Chief Financial Officer of Bharati Airtel, Badal Bagri said, “Juggernaut is an exciting digital platform and complements our content vision. We look forward to working  with them and supporting the next phase of their growth journey.”

The founder and publisher of Juggernaut, Chiki Sarkar said, “We are excited to partner with Airtel in our journey ahead. Airtel has a great understanding of digital content consumption and we have much to learn and benefit from this strategic partnership.”

CEO of Juggernaut, Simran Khara said, ” Our ambition is to get many more Indians to read and write our partnership with Airtel will allow us to expand our distribution manifold.”

Juggernaut’s former investors include Infosys co-founder and current chairman, Nandan Nilekani and Boston Consulting Group India CEO Neeraj Aggarwal. Juggernaut was launched in April. It has about 1 million downloads across Android iOS. The writer’s platform went live in May 2017. It offers amateur writers the ability to digitally publish their content and stand a chance to win publishing contracts. In past six months, the writer’s platform has received about 500 stories. Among those stories 9 have secured publishing contracts.

Bharati Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 17 countries across Asia and Africa. Its headquarter is in New Delhi, India. The company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed home broadband, DTH, enterprise services including national and international long distance services to carriers.

Juggernaut aims to give readers and authors both a  digital and a traditional publishing platform. By redefining reading and writing for the digital age, it engages both a serious reading audience and a new mobile audience. Its catalogue of more than 5000 books is powered by authors including Twinkle Khanna, Arundhati Roy, William Dalrymple, Rujuta Diwekar and several others. The Juggernaut app is available on both Android and iOS.

(Image – wikipedia, TeleAnalytics)