A bus journey from Mumbai to Bangalore takes about 18 long hours and the bus operators play at least five to six movies on the big screen. Not everyone likes what’s playing but they don’t really have a choice. What if buses had the same kind of entertainment systems that international flights do? Well, here is a company that is looking to fill that gap. Founded by Kartik Poddar and Kartik Bansal, who have known each other for over ten years, say that their similarity goes much beyond just their names. They went to the same engineering college and also worked at Microsoft for a while together. They finally plunged into starting their own venture and rolled out Fropcorn in September this year. Founder-CEO Kartik Poddar has worked in product management and marketing functions in companies like Komli Media and Microsoft, while Founder-CTO Kartik Bansal is a self-confessed geek who was previously with Shindigg and Microsoft.
Banyanpod Technologies is a media technology company in the on-demand entertainment space. Fropcorn, the company’s hyper-local content distribution product, delivers high quality content to consumers over WiFi.
DETAILS OF PRODUCT/SERVICE
Fropcorn operates by setting up WiFi-enabled entertainment zones at high-footfall locations. Once a location is Fropcorn-enabled, users can stream or download movies, videos, music, ebooks and other forms of content on their own devices over WiFi.
a) User monetised model either for title downloads or subscriptions
b) Enterprise partners who wish to provide on-demand entertainment to their customers
c) Later monetisation can come through paid app distribution, sponsored content and rich ad-formats
Fropcorn has tied up with leading studios like Viacom, Yash Raj, Reliance, Sun TV, and others. It is now getting enterprises on board to deploy the WiFi systems. The app, currently in beta, has around 500 downloads. WiFi has become a basic requirement across urban India. Fropcorn has a very solid proposition for people in large public spaces like airports, malls, hotels, etc. The founding team has relevant experience and already has some big names onboard from the media world. The offering can also be a good outlet for game/app developers. Currently Fropcorn is present in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
“Customer focus, humility and having fun are key principles we follow in everything we do at Fropcorn,” says Kartik Poddar-Founder and CEO.
A 20-member team split across Business development, Operations and Engineering.
“At heart we are a prod-tech company and most of the team members are in the engineering function,” adds Kartik Poddar.
He says: “We are launching our service at multiple locations and are also expanding into multiple verticals. We saw tremendous response from our initial deployments in buses and we think a service like Fropcorn has applicability at any location where there is significant travel or dwell time. In order to make our service highly exciting for the users, we are even striking to new content partnerships to offer users a richer and wider selection of content.”
ON BEING TECH 30
“The Tech 30 badge has given us tremendous credibility and has opened new avenues for us. We have been seeing lot of interest from potential partners ever since the Tech 30 announcement came out. Winning the Tech 30 award is a huge confidence booster for our team as it is a strong validation of our people and the product we are building,”says Kartik Poddar.
WiFi has become a basic requirement across urban India. Fropcorn has a very solid proposition for people in large public spaces like airports, malls, hotels, etc. The founding team has relevant experience and already has some big names onboard from the media world. The offering can also be a good outlet for game and app developers.
Cameraman: Rukmangada Raja
Video Editor: Anjali Achal