By Evan DeSimone
Multi-platform digital media company Zealot Networks has announced its latest acquisition, Mumbai based multi-channel network Nirvana Digital.
Founded in 2014 by Maker Studios co-founder and former CEO Danny Zappin, Zealot has been on a year-long shopping spree, acquiring companies properties in the digital media, entertainment, and talent management space. Most recently, the company acquired click-bait content hub Viral Nova, ad tech startup AllScreen and music prodco Lord Danger. Zealot also branched out with the acquisition of a passel of Nashville based music and marketing companies that will form the basis of a local division of the company.
Nirvana Digital will continue to operate semi-autonomously from offices in San Francisco and Mumbai
Nirvana Digital, which operates offices in both Mumbai and San Francisco, is Zealot’s first international acquisition, giving the sprawling start-up conglomerate en entrée in the Indian digital entertainment space. Nirvana operates over 200 YouTube channels primarily based in India and Pakistan, as well as a local content studio in-house at its Mumbai offices. Nirvana also boasts distribution deals for some of its content with platforms including Amazon VOD, Apple iTunes, Fandor, Roku and HULU.
Zealot is the latest digital media player to take an interest in the Indian digital space. Over the last year, both Otter Media-owned MCN Fullscreen and web media destination What’s Trending have established their own outlets on the subcontinent. Fullscreen acquired Indian MCN Qyuki in late 2014 and What’s Trending launched an India-based franchise in partnership with Culture Machine.
Zealot founder and former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin
In spite of Zappin’s roots in the multi-channel network world, this marks Zealot’s first acquisition of an MCN. The company has stayed close to the digital entertainment space, but has avoided the MCN moniker, preferring to describe itself as a multi-platform company network looking to develop synergies between a patchwork of divisions that include everything from digital media outlet New Media Rockstars to sports management firm PSE.
Zealot has yet to disclose the terms of the acquisition, but like most previous Zealot buy-outs, the purchase of Nirvana Digital is a 100% stake comprised of cash and Zealot stock.
Disclosure: The author was previously employed by a Zealot Networks property and has a small equity share in the company.