MUMBAI: Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit’s online dance training venture ‘Dance With Madhuri’ (DWM), which she started with her husband Shriram Nene in 2013, has witnessed a 5X growth during the lockdown.
The service, available across iOS and Google Play Store, has seen a major uptick in time-spent and user logins from across 206 countries, co-founder Nene told ET.
“During the lockdown our business has grown 5X. We thought people needed something to keep them up and occupied and get their minds off the situation, so we also gave a lot of free content and the numbers just grew. We’re now planning live classes where choreographers or schools can teach dance one on one or one is to 30. And we’re also credentialing those into buckets, so that you can actually get a diploma or a certificate from us,” Nene said.
DWM was initially launched in 2013, but it was only in 2015 when it started to gain traction when the company partnered with Indian DTH player Tata Sky for a linear dance channel.
“In 2015, India did not have the bandwidth necessary for video learning so we launched on Tata Sky as a linear service with over 100 hours of content. Within a month, we had 100,000 paid subscribers, and it made us EBITDA positive and profitable,” said Nene.
Today, DWM is available across top DTH platforms – Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV and Videocon d2h, and has 300,000 paid subscribers.
The app and website, where the company is putting more focus on now, has users across 206 countries. “From the beginning we wanted to democratise how you learn dance, and allow everyone the ability to learn from a master like Madhuri, irrespective of whether you’re living in India, Russia or in China. As per latest analytics, we have users from all the countries except three,” he added.
Nene said going forward, DMW would like to expand into other areas, both extracurricular as well as co-curricular, including acting, music, cricket, gourmet cooking, etc.
“When we started, no one was doing this. Even today it is very different from any other offering available in the market. So I think there’s a huge opportunity to scale this because,” Nene said. “We are in talks for a strategic partner, to raise up to $5 million. We’re not just looking at India but we’re looking globally, because we have such a strong base, all over the planet.”
The couple own 100% in the company. Nene said that DMW is EBITDA positive and has a free cash flow. “We’re not taking money out of the company. We did this for passion to build something which we thought was needed, and to fill a gap. We’d like to continue to take it forward as founders, with the right partners who can kind of see the vision and build on that and take it to the next level.”
The company intends to use funds for scaling up technology, personnel, and marketing.
At present, DMW has a team of 24 people and it has partnered with 86 top choreographers.
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