The Viral Fever: Funded by Tiger Global

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Ruchi Patel, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Tiger Global Management LLC has invested $10 million (₹65.6 crore) in ‘The Viral Fever’, an online digital-entertainment channel. Tiger Global picked up a stake close to 25% in the firm, valuing it at around ₹270 crore.

‘The Viral Fever’ is an online video-content creator channel, which was founded by Arunabh Kumar, an alumnus of IIT, Kharagpur. He was later joined by Amit Golani and Biswapati Sarkar. TVF was started to reach out to the younger generation covering topics like Indian, movies, lifestyle, social concepts, politics, TV programmes, etc. The group is known for its comedy videos such as Barely Speaking with Arnub—a satirical take on Times Now’s Arnab Goswami and its original online series such as TVF Pitchers and Permanent Roommates.

TVF has been successful in reaching out to young Indian audience who seldom watch the television to either pass the time or for entertainment. At present, the TVF Group has a total team of 70 with 11 as consultants in Mumbai and Delhi. Contagious Online Media Network Pvt Ltd- The Viral Fever’s parent company, earned a profit of ₹22 lakh last year.

Tiger Management Corporation founded by Julian Robertson was a hedge-fund which operated from 1980-2000.After closing his firm, Julian started using his capital and experience to help upcoming hedge-funders known as ‘Tiger Seeds’ in return for a company’s stake.One such Tiger seed was Tiger Global Management founded in 2001 by Chase Coleman-III, who was estimated as one of the most profitable hedge-fund founders. Tiger Global has stakes in close to 110 companies mostly based in the Internet sector. It has raised funds of about $35 billion to become the largest and most active startup investor over the years.

Tiger Global investments in India were on the rise, as it funded around 18 Indian firms by 2015. E-commerce and online marketplace companies like Shopclues, Roposo, LimeRoad, Quikr, InShorts, Grofers, LocalOye, Culture Machine and Policy Bazaar were funded so far. Tiger Global also invested in other firms like Chaayos, Delhivery, Freshdesk, Chargebee, Moonfrog labs, Ather Energy and Vedantu.  Tiger Global Management funded around $400 million to Ola cabs along with other investors to increase the value of Ola cabs to $5 billion. Tiger Global also increased their investments in e-commerce giant Amazon by $1.1 billion to buy 2.44 million more Amazon shares. Flipkart, Amazon’s arch rival is Tiger Global’s existing portfolio firm, with investment amount similar to that of Amazon’s. Prior to funding TVF, Tiger Global invested in another digital content creator Culture Machine, which runs the Being Indian and several other YouTube channels.

According to a report by US magazine Forbes, a total of $54 million have been generated by the top 10 online video content creators on YouTube for 2014 and 2015.

The lucrative revenue of digital content creators, and funding by well known investors will surely lead to a surge in free digital content creators around the world. The world has become a smaller place with content available free on internet. It is easier to connect to anything happening around the world nowadays because of the internet penetration. It also gives everyone a platform to express and reach out to masses.