Bharti Airtel buys stake in Juggernaut Books

Published On: 05, Dec 2017 | Source: business-standard.com

Seeking to enlarge its content ecosystem, telecom operator Bharti has acquired a strategic stake in Books, a digital platform backed by co-founder  

allows people to discover and read as well as submit amateur writing. The investment is part of Airtel’s efforts to build an ecosystem to service customers with digital content. For Juggernaut, founded by Chiki Sarkar, the move will help ramp up content acquisition and digital marketing and prepare for a subscription-offering launch in the next few months.

Content is going to be a major thrust area for as they look to increase data consumption among subscribers. 

has got a portfolio of content applications like Wynk Movies, Wynk Music, and Wynk Games, whereas has got its own content platforms like JioTV, JioCinema, JioMusic, JioCloud, and JioMags. “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,”  said Badal Bagri, CFO, Bharti  

Analysts believe partnerships between mobile operators and content platforms will increase as the game shifts towards pure-play data. Also, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has exempted content delivery networks (CDN) from its recommendations on net neutrality. 

According to a report by Edelweiss, the CDN exemption is likely to benefit integrated operators trying to create content ecosystem to drive user traction. 

CDN enables telecom service providers to deliver content within their network without going through the internet.

“We expect and Bharti (Airtel) to sustain leading positions in this space. They could leverage CDN exemption and offer platform content at lower prices to drive traction within their subscriber base,” Edelweiss said.

Speaking of the fundraising, Sarkar said, “has a great understanding of digital content consumption, and we have much to learn and benefit from this strategic partnership.”

Juggernaut’s former investors include co-founder and current chairman and Boston Consulting Group India CEO Neeraj Aggarwal. Launched in April 2016, the platform has close to a million downloads across and

In May 2017, the writer’s platform went live to offer amateur writers the ability to digitally publish their content and stand a chance to win publishing contracts. The writer’s platform in the past six months has received just under 500 stories, with nine of them securing publishing contracts. “Our ambition is to get more Indians to read and write, and our partnership with will allow us to expand,” CEO Simran Khara said.