Virat Kohli launches smartphone, app for fans

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 25, 2016

Upmanyu Misra (left), Co-founder of PrivyPlex, with cricketer Virat Kohli and Ahmed Arab, Co-founder of PrivyPlex, to launch Virat FanBox in Mumbai, on Monday SHASHI ASHIWAL

Cricketer Virat Kohli’s fans will now get a chance to meet him personally, as well as chat with him online by purchasing a mobile phone bundle that’ll buy them membership to his fan club.

Kohli has partnered with PrivyPlex, a Mumbai-based start-up that develops solutions for connecting global celebrities with their fans to create the ‘FanBox’ that’ll cost ₹16,999 and can be bought on Flipkart.

The box comes with Moto G Turbo Virat Kohli Edition smartphone, one-year subscription to Virat FanBox club, a miniature bat autographed by Virat Kohli and a welcome letter signed by him.

PrivyPlex has also partnered with apparel brand Wrogn and fitness brand Chisel, both of which have Kohli as their brand ambassador, to offer discount vouchers and gym membership worth about ₹3,000. Moto G Turbo costs about ₹13,000 on Flipkart outside of the offer.

“While in effect a fan pays about ₹4,000 for the FanBox club membership, the cost is offset by offers from our partners. We are in talks with about 10 additional brands that’ll also provide offers to these fans,” Upmanyu Misra, Co-founder of PrivyPlex, told BusinessLine. Misra said the company will soon launch the FanBox with options for other mobile handsets as well.

“I hail from Kanpur and I know that there are lots and lots of people in Kanpur alone who are willing to pay a lot more than ₹4,000 to shake hands with Virat. We therefore see a huge opportunity for the concept,” Misra said.

The start-up will earn from not just the membership fee but also from brand promotions and events that’ll be a part of the entire fan club concept. The proceeds will be shared between PrivyPlex and Kohli.

“The Virat FanBox is my personal endeavour to get closer to my fans than ever before; to connect and chat with them online and meet them in real life. I am excited and looking forward to engaging and interacting with the Virat FanBox club members via the app,” Kohli said.

PrivyPlex has raised $1.5 million to build the app and the overall platform for FanBox and it is now in talks to raise another $5 million to expand the concept to other celebrities.

“We raised our first round of funds with a valuation of $10 million from Elyseum Capital Partners, a Dubai-based fund, and even as we launch our first FanBox with Virat, we are already in talks to raise another round for $5 million,” Misra said adding that the company is looking to build a celebrity-fan interaction platform with one or two celebrities each from Soccer, Cricket, Formula One, BasketBall and Bollywood.

Published on April 25, 2016
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