Airtel acquires strategic stake in Juggernaut

In its endeavour to build an open content ecosystem, Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecommunications service provider, has acquired a strategic stake in Juggernaut Books, a popular digital platform. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Juggernaut's former investors include Infosys co-founder and current chairman Nandan Nilekani and Boston Consulting Group India CEO Neeraj Aggarwal. Launched in April 2016, the platform has close to 1 million downloads across android and ioS.

For Airtel, this will also help the company offer world-class digital content to its customers. The investment from Airtel will enable Juggernaut to ramp up content acquisition, digital marketing and prepare for a subscription offering launch in the next few months.

''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,'' Badal Bagri, Chief Financial Officer, Bharti Airtel said.

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 9 of them securing publishing contracts.

''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,'' Juggernaut founder & publisher, Chiki Sarkar said.

Focused on the growing smart phone usage in India, Juggernaut aims to give readers and authors both a digital and a traditional publishing platform. Its catalogue of 5,000 books is powered by authors such as Twinkle Khanna, Arundhati Roy, William Dalrymple, Rujuta Diwekar, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose and others. The Juggernaut app is available on both Android and iOS.

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