While India has churned out a volley of creators, not more than 0.2% of them are able to tap
the full potential of their creations
Animeta help creators grow their communities and maximise their earnings across multiple social media platforms.
Creators such as Lakhan Rawat, Neetu Bisht Rawat, auto-focussed influencer Faisal Khan and edtech influencer Gaurav Thakur have so far been onboarded by Animeta
With more than 46.7 Cr internet-guzzling, and content-craving users, India has emerged as a key market for many social media companies. Interestingly, fueling this growth is the constantly growing band of creators, estimated at 8 Cr today, that curates tailored-made content in sync with the wants and interests of their audience.
While such creators spend a lot of resources and time in ideation, creation and execution to keep their audience engaged, they are largely marred by poor monetary returns and a lack of motivation to continue with their passion.
The fact of the matter is that the space is afflicted with a pressing challenge, i.e., only a few creators are able to get the ‘moolah’ out of their content.
As per a report by Kalaari Capital, not more than 0.2% of the creator brigade in the nation is able to unlock the full potential of its content.
This is especially demoralising for small-time creators who post their content with discipline and leave no stone unturned to innovate and keep introducing something new to keep their audience engaged. And in doing so, they struggle with issues ranging from a dearth of resources to support and directions to monetise and grow effectively.
Animeta, a SaaS-based platform, aims to counter just that and help creators grow their communities and maximise their earnings across multiple social media platforms.
“Creators are finding it difficult to grow as social media paradigms have been changing constantly. Despite their consistent approach and discipline, the creators also need the right support. This is where we help creators unlock their monetisation options and increase their total addressable market (TAM),” said the founder of Animeta, Anish Mehta, who is focussed on helping creators leverage the true potential of their creations.
The startup is backed by names such as MD of Emerald Media Rajesh Kamat and media entrepreneur Sameer Manchanda. While the Singapore-headquartered company is currently doing post-production offline, the process will eventually be done by AI software.
The startup is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Anish Mehta, who previously also ran an animation studio, Cosmos-Maya, for nearly a decade.
Realising that there was a big gap in the larger creatortech economy, Mehta sat down to formulate the idea of a startup that would have its genesis in ‘creative technology’, and could be scaled quickly and in a ‘fail-proof’ fashion. With that in mind, Animeta was founded in February 2023.
Putting AI To Work
At the heart of the startup is the company’s proprietary AI-based self-service creator tech platform that allows creators access to a gamut of services ranging from data analytics and business intelligence to content strategy and creative supervision.
Mehta told Inc42 that he identified a gap in the market, especially when it comes to disseminating content across categories and the lack of what he calls 360-degree support for content creators.
Although the web-based platform is in its beta stages, it has joined hands with many creators across multiple social media platforms to effectively position their content with the help of technology, especially AI and ML.
In its quest, the startup has partnered with Tubular Labs, a social video intelligence company, to ingest relevant analytics for creators and then with the help of an AI engine offer insights into what is trending globally and what would or wouldn’t work for a creator, including content ideas.
This partnership is limited to Animeta and Tubular and will allow content creators to directly view their analytics on Animeta’s website.
Animeta also aims to bring the US-based TV and film ‘studio model’ to the country under which it would offer post-production services to Indian content creators. Besides, content creators will directly be able to use these services and will not be liable for any additional charges.
At this post-production facility, Animeta will work with creators to finetune their content. The startup will also work with creators to edit their video feeds, and simultaneously push the content across various platforms.
When Monetisation Is The Key Motivation
Still, in its infancy, the startup is yet to make money. Responding to Inc42’s questions about its revenue model, the company said that Animeta partners with creators for a period of seven years, during which both parties have an equal share in revenues.
“We acquire the 50% rights of the entire content library (including the creations in the past and present) for a period of seven years. Because of the kind of time, effort, energy and technology that we will invest, we believe we should be partners with the creators throughout to help them expand their scope,” Animeta CEO Devdatta Potnis said.
However, the company claims that the intellectual property rights of the content will continue to remain with the creators.
Broadly, Animeta has three modules that complement the operations of the company. The core is the Star Discovery module, which helps Animeta zero in on the creators it wants to onboard. While the AI model is in its infancy, the discovery module judges creators, or prospective clients, on more than 100 parameters, including views, engagement, category, and geography, among others.
“We use this data, slice it and dice it with machine learning and AI to make sure that it is sifting through millions of data points across multiple platforms, and through trends stretching into years in the past. These 100+ metrics are then used to evaluate a creator’s journey and to predict growth prospects,” chief product officer Krishna Desai said.
The outcome will then be used to screen creators who are subsequently onboarded. Animeta will then take over the operations of the content creator’s socials and take a cut in the total earnings.
The second module will be the Star Maker model in which Animeta plans to ‘nurture, monetise and transform’ creators. Employing data and business intelligence, this AI module will deploy a content strategy engine to help creators build everything from script to storylines and understanding local granular trends to target their content with precision.
The third module will be the Brand Star module, which would focus solely on brands looking for their perfect-fit influencers. This will be a B2B ‘one stop shop’ platform for brands looking to check the veracity of a creator and whether the creator would appeal to their target audience.
What’s Next On The Cards?
On what Animeta’s sweet spot is while choosing which creators to onboard, the startup said that the company is likely looking at creators who have the potential to grow manifold in the next five years. Speaking with Inc42, chief operating officer (COO) Vipasha Joshi said that the shortlisted creators are likely to be in the range of ‘mid to high level and macro or rising stars’.
The startup is currently focussed on influencers from 16 categories such as travel, automobile, vlogs, beauty and lifestyle, science, technology, and food.
The result has been evident. On March 13, Animeta announced that it onboarded the first set of creators after commencing full-fledged operations in India. The big names included Lakhan Rawat and Neetu Bisht Rawat of the Lakhneet Vlogs, auto-focused content creator Faisal Khan, edtech influencer Gaurav Thakur, and vlogger Manoj Malhotra, among others.
Cumulatively, these social media stars have a total monthly viewership of more than 1 Bn and a 5 Cr+ subscriber base.
Currently, the startup has called its dibs on India, Singapore and other Southeast Asian regions, and it is looking at the Middle East and North American markets to expand. Potnis said that Animeta was open to strategic partnerships across the globe to scale its offerings to newer territories.
The CEO added that the startup is looking to onboard as many as 200 exclusive creators in the next nine months as it transitions out of its beta phase.
The recently launched startup has 15 people on its rolls and works with 30 vendors who facilitate Animeta’s post-production efforts.
Key Challenges Ahead For Animeta
Even as Animeta has touted its plans of deploying tech for everything creator-related, many still are a little sceptical.
Speaking to Inc42, CMO and cofounder of WhizCo Prerna Goel said that while the industry is headed towards more automation, especially on the brand and creator integration side, not a lot of influencers will be excited to give up half of their earnings.
An industry leader, requesting anonymity, told Inc42 that the creator economy had too many variables that could be addressed by the current technology. He also cited issues ranging from miscommunication between creators and brands to addressing concerns around developing videos that adhere to their sponsors’ requirements.
Human intervention is pivotal, and it will take some time before the technology can take over human efforts. One cannot entirely automate human efforts in toto, the industry veteran added.
The company confidently claims that it does not have any competitor in the space in India. However, we have analysed, the US-based platform Jellysmack locks horns with Animeta across some of its offerings.
With the rise of the creator economy, many have turned to social media platforms to earn a livelihood. According to YouTube, its ecosystem contributed more than INR 10,000 Cr to the Indian GDP and supported more than 7.5 Lakh full-time equivalent jobs in the country in 2021.
Animeta is also looking to tap into the larger Indian influencer market, which was reportedly pegged at INR 1,247 Cr in 2022, largely on the back of the growing adoption of digital marketing by brands and high usage of social media in the country. This number is projected to surge to INR 2,800 Cr by 2026.