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More sample pitches: Toffeetv.com makes it case

Quick update on ToffeeTV.com

First, checkout their Eid special with Zeb and Haniya

Its a great example of two outstanding team collaborating to make beautiful music together…Four women, One in Lahore, one in Isloo, two in Karachi. Jazz, kids animation, e-learning, Kohat, Lahore and Karachi. Who would have thought?

Second the ToffeeTV.com Facebook page went ballistic this week and is well on its way to crossing 10,000 fans before Eid holidays are over. Please join me as a fan on the page.

Third. Keep an eye out for the ToffeeTV APICTA pitch that will hopefully go up as soon as Rabia Garib and Talea Zafar are done with making it at the Dusit Thani Pitching grounds at Pattaya Thailand early next week. I think they have some great dreams and ideas about how to change the world one animated video at a time…

Fourth, the ToffeeTV Youtube channel will also cross 75,000 views later tonight which short of a being a rock star or a television celeberity is a major achievement. We hope we will be celebrating 100,000 pageviews by the end of the month once the team is back from the APICTA ICT Awards…

And now without further ado, here is the abbreviated pitch for Toffeetv.com

The hook for the pitch: The market

There are 7 million expat Pakistanis outside Pakistan. This number does not include the second or third generation or extended families and is limited to current NICOP and Passport holders. If you include Pakistani origin individuals and families the number jumps to about 35 million individuals outside Pakistan who at some level are interested in staying in touch with their original identity. A large part of this identity is our mutual heritage including language. For kids the earliest introduction to language is through lullabies and nursery rhymes. One big challenge that our expats face is exposing their children to the Urdu language at an early age where the child is already speaking a different primary language such as English. In addition to the expat there are about four million English speaking households in Pakistan where the language spoken at home is not Urdu. Finally within our rural areas as well as urban centers there are many communities where we have a cell phone network but no access to schools.

The Pitch: Social Impact

By creating a portfolio of animated nursery rhymes and stories and making them available not just on the web but also through our smart phone applications we hope to reach out to these distinct groups using a phased approach. Phased because by the time we build up our content library, smart phone would become cheap enough to be affordable for a home or garage school in some of the poorest tehsils in Pakistan. Our hope is that by doing so we can help teach kids our language in a fun and interesting way and also contribute to preserving our heritage and identity.

The Pitch: The opportunity and the business model

While the website includes free content, our smart phone applications would use the common .99 cents per additional story purchased model. By focusing on expat customers to pay for a library of stories on a regular basis we expect to subsidize the same content for rural and low income urban communities. With an initial launch aimed at North America, Europe and Middle East we expect to ramp up product to about 10 new releases every month with an end state of over 500 hundred lullabies, nursery rhymes and stories that young children can use to teach themselves Urdu all across the world. Our revenue share from cell phone sales will range between 30% to 65% of gross receipts depending on the cell phone platform used. The expected growth for this model allows us to reach 5 – 10 million US$ a year in annual revenues within 18 months of the point where we start charging for new stories and content. Promotional packages have also been designed where parents can buy package of 10, 15 and 20 stories at steep discounts. Given our focus on young children and expat professionals and the absence of similar animated content in Urdu and the need for this community to stay in touch with their roots once we do a formal launch with the right marketing we expect to see a very reasonable rate of conversion. A large part of these proceeds can then be utilized to reach out to under privileged children and teach them how to read Urdu as well as English back home here in Pakistan.

The Pitch: Standards and why teaching kids is complex

Teaching children a new language and a new concept is both an art and a science. Making it playful and fun is a completely different story. We have looked at a range of similar projects in other languages and one common theme that we use is to work with translating the existing library of nursery rhymes in English so children outside Pakistan are already familiar with the context and the content and only have to identify and work with the right labels. Our attempt is to create content and build a platform that works equally well on the web and on Nokia, iPhone, iPad, Android and the Windows 7 platforms. We have an in-house animation, design and recording studio that tries to reuse our internal library of resources, frames and soundtrack so that the cost of content production is pushed as low as possible and the quality of the content is maintained at a level where the child can still be engaged.

The Pitch: User requirements and features

We study reactions to our content and future planned release in controlled story telling sessions with children and their parents on a regular basis. This helps us identify additional trick and approach and give us feedback on what type of content works with young children and what doesn’t.

The vote:

Would you invest or decline? What valuation? What about tweaks to the business model? How do you grade the pitch?

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