Bengaluru-based fledgeling hyperlocal news platform Lokal has raised $3 Mn funding from a group of investors including 3one4 Capital, Y Combinator, RB Investments, SOMA Capital, besides its existing investor India Quotient.
Other investors like Twitch cofounder Kevin Lin, Xiaomi Indonesia head Alvin Tse, South Korea-based VC firm Starling Ventures, US-based media tech firm XRM Media and tech investment firm I2BF Global Ventures also participated in the funding round.
Focused on regional languages, Lokal will be using the freshly raised funds to improve its product and expand to newer geographies. The Bengaluru startup also plans to expand its team and strengthen its presence in the existing market. Lokal plans to launch in three more states in the coming months to bring more regional users on its digital platform.
Founded by Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary in June 2018, Lokal serves news to vernacular audiences based on their location, with separate language offerings for different districts across states. It also offers district-level local news, jobs, classifieds and matrimonial ads.
The users also use the app to find local information like weather, vegetable prices, and contact information of doctors or police stations in Telugu and Hindi languages.
So far, Lokal app has registered over 3 Mn installs on Google Play Store. The news platform has a team of stringers and freelance reporters that produces original news. The news is provided to the users either in text or video formats.
The startup has a presence in 27 districts across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and it plans to expand to three more states over the next year.
Jani Pasha founder of Lokal said, “English-speaking users in India have access to good internet products for jobs, classifieds, ecommerce, education – essentially everything. On the other hand, there is a total lack of quality internet products for non-English speaking users for anything other than entertainment. Lokal is changing that by providing local news, classifieds and more, to these non-English speaking Indian users”.
Commenting on the latest development, Madhukar Sinha, Partner, India Quotient, said: “Digitisation of classifieds in Tier II and III cities and beyond is a large and lucrative opportunity. Local news and information can be served much faster and in a better way digitally. IQ is very happy with the progress, and as the company scales it has maintained top market metrics of user engagement and retention”. Anurag Ramdasan, Head of Investment Team, 3one4 Capital, said: “At a time when content consumption is seeing dramatic growth and the platforms for consuming real time information are still to be unified, Lokal has delivered high quality contextual content to users. They have enabled discovery of deeply relevant information via an adaptive multilingual interface“.
Anurag Ramdasan, Head of Investment Team, 3one4 Capital, said: “At a time when content consumption is seeing dramatic growth and the platforms for consuming real time information are still to be unified, Lokal has delivered high quality contextual content to users. They have enabled discovery of deeply relevant information via an adaptive multilingual interface“.
You may also like,
More from Featured
ExtraaEdge Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd, an ed-tech startup, has raised $700,000 (approximately Rs 5 crore at current exchange rates) in …