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Desi Hits Adds $5 Million

Desi Hits, a San Francisco-based operator of a multimedia South Asian entertainment portal, has raised $5 million in Series B funding. Backers include D.E. Shaw Group, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Trident Capital.  

PRESS RELEASE
One year after its launch, Desi Hits! (http://www.desihits.com/) has announced the successful completion of its second round of fundraising, which garnered a further $5 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Trident Capital and the D.E. Shaw Group. With its massively popular celebrity interviews, music videos, podcasts and blogs, Desi Hits! has become the South Asian-or “Desi”- pop destination of choice for the world's enormous South Asian (Indian) youth culture.

“In one short year we have also seen the West's interest in South Asia skyrocket,” notes Desi Hits! CEO Anjula Acharia-Bath. “Not only are we providing exciting, culturally relevant entertainment for the global Desi population, we are opening doors to Western acts that want to enter the huge Indian market in an authentic way.” As a result, both Hollywood and music- industry insiders have sought to partner with Desi Hits! in a number of synergized ways, the most notable of which was a recent exclusive podcast with rap superstar 50 Cent prior to his concert in Mumbai. “You know that when 50 Cent is embracing Desi there's something big going on,” says Acharia-Bath. “He's a smart businessman and sees the huge opportunity of the South Asian Diaspora. We are incredibly honored that DFJ and Trident have shown continued support of our original vision and that the D.E. Shaw Group has recognized the company's great future potential.”

Desi Hits! has an appeal that speaks to a South Asian youth population seeking a combination of Eastern authenticity and Western street “cred.” As a result, the site has grown to a substantial entertainment destination with more than 10 million hits per month. “Entertainment web offerings can be very challenging because they demand an instinct about targeting the right audiences with the right content,” says Michael Banks, an executive of the D.E. Shaw Group's venture capital unit. “We think Desi Hits! has found the right formula by producing an East/West fusion culture that has broad appeal in South Asia and around the world.”

With recent coverage in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, WWD and Vogue India, Desi Hits! is fast becoming the matchmaker between East/West pop culture collaborations. Upcoming highlights include further web exclusives with American hip-hop and R&B acts like LL Cool J and Akon, and new releases from Urban Desi, Bhangra and Bollywood artists like Jay Sean, AR Rahman and Raghav.

“It's a fantastic time in the world to be Desi,” adds DFJ's Ravi Belani. “The emerging South Asian demographic will experience more significant changes from their parents than any other previous generation. Desi Hits! answers the need for a next generation media platform to address the richer, more cosmopolitan and multimedia needs of the Desi consumer. We are thrilled to back Desi Hits! and think its vision captures the richness, fun and sophistication of this powerful demographic.”

About Desi Hits!

Reflecting the diversity of today's trendsetting South Asian, Desi Hits! spotlights established and emerging talent across music an film. The multimedia site caters to a cosmopolitan online community that craves fresh innovative East/West fusion, and the best from Los Angeles, London, Bollywood and beyond. Streaming music/video and podcasts, blogs and artist profiles, celebrity interviews, lifestyle features, special event listings as well as user-generated shows are all accessible anytime, anywhere. Desi Hits! is dedicated to creating and encouraging exciting, edgy content and has already gained a following in more than 68 countries.