You’re reading it here first: Indian social networking site Minglebox has received $7 million in funding from Sequoia Capital India. Minglebox was started by three IIT Delhi alumni – Kavita Iyer, Sanjay Aggarwal and Sushma Abburi, who have previously worked in companies like Yahoo, i2, ICICI, Wipro, HLL and Infosys. R.Ramaraj, ex-CEO and co-founder of Sify has joined the board of Minglebox.
The company has apparently adopted a different approach to populating its social network – they’ve focused on creating communities for colleges and trying to emulate a college hangout online, which is one of the things people use Orkut (yeah, we keep going back to Orkut, don’t we?) for. Minglebox has a bunch of other usual stuff: blogs, photos and videos. Most videos are from YouTube, and there is (again) some copyrighted Bollywood content embedded from YouTube…I wonder who’s liable in this case – the user who uploads; YouTube, which publishes and facilitates sharing; or Minglebox, where the video is embedded…that’s a problem that many social networks with video content are facing today.
ContentSutra has learned that Minglebox has content tie-ups with music labels including HMV, for the music content they stream via their jukebox. The funding will be used for product development, technology innovation and expansion of market reach.
Update: I asked Kavita Iyer, CEO of Minglebox about how they plan to compete in this rather overcrowded social networking space in India. She says that they’re trying to emulate the college Intranet, to connect students and ex-students – stickiness will come from creating close knit communities. Minglebox next wants to create communities for workspaces. But what about the monetization? Iyer says it will come from advertising and branded communities, but that’s for later. Right now, they’re more focused on phase 1, which is about about creating a community. Tie-ups for college festivals is on the anvil. About the mobile space, Iyer says that they will launch gprs based products at some point in time, but are not too keen on SMS products, even though they have those ready.