US mobile video company sees India as major market

Washington, Feb 24 (IANS) Leading US mobile video company Vuclip, founded by an Indian American, has acquired Canadian mobile video streaming firm Jigsee as part of its expansion strategy in India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Vuclip's vision is to provide mobile video for consumers worldwide, regardless of the device type or network quality, said Nickhil Jakatdar, the India-born CEO and founder of Vuclip headquartered in Milpitas, California.

Vuclip plans to offer new apps to complement its browser strategy, particularly in India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, he told IANS by email, describing India as a significant market.

"India has one of the largest base of mobile-only internet users after South Africa," he said.

Citing leading software developer Opera, Jakatdar said a mobile phone is the only way to access the internet for 41 percent of Indians.

Highly-targeted content is one of Vuclip's key offerings for India because of its breadth of cultural diversity, he said, noting that the company has been "growing phenomenally in the country both organically and in terms of our reach among Indian mobile users".

Vuclip's commitment to local content supported across the mass market devices has driven unique partnerships with telecom companies like Vodafone for its 'Vodafone Mobile Box Office,' Jakatdar said.

Besides Delhi and Mumbai, Vuclip has people based close to regional centres around the country and in terms of content, it already works with about 75 partners and is looking at signing up more, he said.

"Our popularity in India is also a huge opportunity for advertisers looking to reach customers who do not have access to personal computers to extend the reach of their television or print campaigns," Jakatdar said.

"As for investment plans, we want to develop more innovative ways to enable mobile video experiences that work well, no matter the quality of the network, and to push the abilities of different phone platforms," he said.

"We want to bridge both browser and apps from a user experience perspective and with our discovery capabilities help consumers find whatever it is they would most enjoy consuming, whether it's the latest Western viral video or a regional movie trailer or sports clip they are looking for," he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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