Homegrown Twitter rival Koo has raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Tiger Global. Existing investors such as Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures, and Dream Incubator also participated, the company has said. IIFL and Mirae Assets are the two new investors.
The funding round values Koo closer to $150 million.
“We have aggressive plans to grow into one of the world’s largest social media platforms in the next few years. Every Indian is cheering for us to get there soon. Tiger Global is the right partner to have onboard to realize this dream,” Koo co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna said.
The funding comes when bigger rival Twitter is locked in a tussle with the Indian government over various issues, including manipulated media.
In March, prominent Silicon Valley Investors Naval Ravikant and Balaji Srinivasan invested in Koo.
“The fresh round of funding will be utilized mainly to strengthen engineering, product, and community efforts across all Indian languages at Koo,” Radhakrishna added.
Koo has six million users, of which 1 million were added in the last month. Founded in March 2020, the micro-blogging platform has been gaining traction over the last few months. The interest has also come on the back of increased friction between the Indian government and Twitter. Several Union ministers, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javedkar, have joined the platform.
“There is space for a neutral or right-leaning social media network. People sometimes want to have simple interactions within their own circles and echo chambers. Koo can provide that. And the founders have shown the ability to build, so investors will always be interested,” said an investor tracking the company, requesting anonymity.
Chinese investor Shunwei Capital exited Bombinate Technologies, the company that owns micro-blogging platform Koo, in April as existing investors and other Indian individuals bought its minority stake in the company. Bombinate Technologies also owns Vokal, a vernacular knowledge-sharing app.
Shunwei Capital’s stake accounted for about 9 percent in Bombinate Technologies.
Prominent individuals who participated in the buyout include former Indian cricketer Javagal Srinath, BookMyShow Founder Ashish Hemrajani, Udaan Co-Founder Sujeet Kumar, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, and Zerodha Founder Nikhil Kamath.