Desi Hits: South Asian Entertainment Portal and Social Networking Site receives $1M Funding

San Francisco-based South Asian entertainment and social networking site DesiHits has received $1 million in first round funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Trident Capital.

The term Desi refers to subculture from South Asia. Desi Hits has a urban twist to it but it competes with several others in the same genre including WahIndia, which received angel funding and will be relaunching the site. Badmash.com, desiparty.com and others are targeting the same audience.

To Desi Hit’s credit, their podcast and vidcast has seen a great run on iTune and has acquired some following. Desi Hits has Bollywood gossip, celebrity interviews, music videos and streaming clips targeted at the South Asian audience in the US.

“We, at Trident Capital are really impressed with the founding team behind Desi Hits! With their intense passion, insight and expertise in capturing the diversity and depth of contemporary Desi-inspired entertainment in a powerful format, we are confident that they will be a leader in this next wave of social networking,” said Trident Capital managing director Evangelos Simoudis.

This is really dejavu (or desi-javu). I was actively involved in a similar effort called GoYogi in late 1999. With a total staff of 70+, go yogi tried to capture the south asian matrimonial market and did a great job of providing cutting edge news and current event information. The launch of goyogi.com was attended by Kapil Dev, the captain of the Indian Cricket team.

I remember drafting the term sheet for the purchase of goyogi.com by Excite, Inc. I don’t recall the exact numbers but it had at least six zeros in it. Excite got into its own problems at that time and the deal was never consummated but I have very fond memories of passion and hard work that the people put in there.

On the path of reminiscing, I had the opportunity to buy bollywood.com for $1,000 in 97-98, somehow it slipped away!

There is certainly a need for a good desi social networking site which is not a matrimonial site. I don’t think Desi Hits is going to be it, but I wish them success. I have seen them go from a blogger site to a funded company and I will watch them with great interest!

Desi Hits
San Fransisco
$1M
Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Trident Capital.


3 Responses to “Desi Hits: South Asian Entertainment Portal and Social Networking Site receives $1M Funding”

  1. By Acharya on Feb 5, 2022 | Reply

    There is aapnaSpace (clone of myspace for south asians) and several internet radio stations but none of them has taken a lead in this space (pardon the pun). This market will remain as fragmented as ever. As they say about desis, you put three desis together and they will form four groups.

  2. By Sunny on Feb 5, 2022 | Reply

    Sulekha is making some headway but their target audience is different. Sulekha is trying to become like Yahoo, Desi Hits wants to be like MySpace (as it was originally envisioned, a place for music groupies). I wasn’t aware of AapnaSpace, but they already have a problem with the trademark - if they become of a decent size, Myspace can probably force them to use different name.

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