The rumors around Chakpak‘s acquisition is being confirmed now. The acquisition was done few months back. Interestingly, from what Binny, co-founder of Flipkart, confirmed, the acquisition is only of content. Nitin Rajput, one of the co-founders of Chakpak, joined Flipkart later. The other co-founder, Gaurav Singh, is now working on his new venture. For obvious reasons, for the past few months Chakpak’s traffic has been on decline but the site is still live and functional.
Ashish wrote about Chakpak few months back when the traffic had already started declining.
The site raised funding from Accel and later Canaan Partners. The core idea behind the VC funding was to become “the” digital marketing platform for Bollywood production houses as the site had the captive audience and hence, there was a potential to monetize the audience in a much better way.
Social was/is an important play and Bollywood production houses needed the major push in social media space. Typically, the production houses do not understand Internet so well (as opposed to print/TV) and that’s where existed an opportunity for a social site like Chakpak.
So who ate the lunch?
Facebook is where the community is. Facebook has killed/made irrelevant so many organic community ideas owing to its deeper penetration in online communities.
For a Bollywood production house, it’s much easier to advertise on Facebook, reach out to a very well defined targeted segment as opposed to any other online service. And for general branding campaign, these production houses use Google/other ad networks.
The founders did try a lot of stuff with Chakpak and were quite successful with few of them. At one time, the site did have astronomical traffic. One of the anonymous comments, probably from someone close to the team, on the previous article sums up Chakpak’s various attempts to capture the authority around Bollywood on web.
…..after funding, Chakpak almost abandoned the site, http://www.chakpak.com, and went on to pour the millions and their collective energy to build facebook games (http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=195730559797)
They did not succeed in their endeavor and while they focussed on facebook games, the world just buzzed by and moved on to facebook from orkut. (If you remember, they shot into prominence due to their brilliant orkut app) – i am not sure they ever did one for facebook.
They did invest in better user experience – they just never launched the new site.
They did try affiliate deals with Myntra and bookmyshow, but I think only for few movies. They never really monetized it deeply.
They did crack deals with studios, but did not persist long enough.
Come on, if you think off it, the drop is not significant even though they have not done any new development on the site. They built a solid product – its just that they focussed on opportunities which did not bear fruit.
Anyways, kudos to the founders to have tried, made it big and then still being able to call it quits and move on. What will happen with Chakpak.com? We are not sure. What will Flipkart do with the content? Well, am not too sure but may be just what Chakpak did best, SEO!
Or is this deal ‘forced’ by investors, i.e. Accel Partners?
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He writes at The Inspire Blog]