TO THE NEW Ventures seeks funding of about Rs 315 crore to expand flagship brands across South-East Asia

Digital media and consumer internet firm TO THE NEW Ventures is in talks with potential strategic and financial investors to raise about Rs 315 crore ($50 million) to expand its flagship brands across South-East Asia.

The Singapore and India-based company, which owns a string of digital and e-commerce properties including online fashion brand American Swan and digital video unit Famebox, expects to close the funding by September.

"In today's world, the line between financial and strategic investors has blurred, with private equity players bringing a lot of expertise and learning as well," said Puneet Johar, co-founder and chief executive. "The investment could be at the operating or at the subsidiary level."

He declined to disclose the names of the potential investors, or the valuation the company was seeking.

TTN Ventures is also bringing its digital services offerings under a new subsidiary called TO THE NEW, which will be the holding company for all its technology, analytics, creative and content services.

"Apart from the cost benefits involved, bringing them under one umbrella will help us capture the synergy, and build the brands further under one leadership," said Deepak Mittal, chief executive of TTN.

"TTN will be profitable this fiscal, with revenue of about Rs 150 crore. We're positioning ourselves against the biggest in the business, including the likes of Digitas, SapientNitro and Accenture Digital," he said.

The company will use the fresh capital primarily to grow American Swan and Famebox, and not on TTN.

TTN Ventures plans to expand Famebox to Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia and other South-East Asian nations in the next few months, and introduce American Swan to the region over the next year-and-half.

"American Swan's annualised gross merchandise sales run rate is about Rs 100 crore, a figure we're looking to raise up to Rs 300 crore by the end of this financial year," Johar said.

TTN Ventures, earlier branded as Four Cross Media, counts Malaysian media major Astro as one of its major stake holders. The company was founded by Johar, formerly a senior executive with Star India, and former Coca Cola India chief Sanjiv Gupta.

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