Microblogging platform Koo raised $30Mn in its Series B round, which was dominated by Tiger Global. Apart from the existing investors, Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners, Blume Ventures, and Dream Incubator, new investors IIFL and Mirae Assets have backed the social microblogging platform.
These new funds which were raised in the Series B round will be used by Koo to strengthen their engineering, product and their community efforts across all Indian languages.
Founded in 2020 by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, Koo allows its users to explore a twitter-like environment with their native languages. Both the founders have had vast experience as Aprameya is the co-founder of TaxiForSure, and Mayank is the founder of MediaAnt and Goodbox. The platform is available in many Indian languages so that people across India can post, aware and express themselves in their language.
The company’s Chinese investor Shunwei sold its minority stake in the company, in February. Existing investors and some new individuals bought their stake in Koo’s parent, Bombinate Technologies Private Limited.
Due to the IT intermediary rules taking effect currently in the country, this is translating into greater accountability and scrutiny for social media companies. With over 6 million users, Koo stands to be a major in the social media industry from India, under the new guidelines.
Speaking on the fundraise, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-founder and CEO of Koo, said, “We have plans to grow into one of the world’s largest social media platforms in the next few years. And with all the support from our dear Indians, we’ll get there soon. “
In only a year, the app has got over six million downloads with a community posting content every day. There are some big names on the user list like Anupam Kher and Kangna Ranaut; politicians like Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani; and sports celebrities including Bhaichung Bhutia, Javagal Srinath, Mary Kom, and Deepak Hooda.
Due to the flare-ups between Twitter and the Indian government after which the San Francisco-headquartered firm refused to block accounts that criticized New Delhi, the Koo app has gained popularity in recent months. It received massive traction when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the platform in his speech during Mann-Ki-Baat last year. The platform was stood second in the Aatmanirbhar App Challenge announced by India last year to fuel the local business ecosystem and self-reliance. It was also named, Google PlayStore’s Best Daily Essential App for 2020.
Koo is the latest bet among the portfolio of Tiger Global. The hedge fund, backing over 20 Indian unicorns throughout, has become the greatest investor in Indian startups and has won founders with its pace of investment, check size, and favourable terms.