Bangalore-based big data startup Frrole raises $245k in angel round
Founded by Amarpreet Kalkat, Frrole is a big data startup specializing in analysing Twitter data. The company has raised an angel round of $245k led by angel investors Sharad Sharma (co-founder and Governing Council member of iSPIRT) and Manav Garg (Eka Software). Google India MD Rajan Anandan, angel investor Sunil Kalra and others are also involved in the round. The deal happened via LetsVenture which is a collaboration platform to raise funding for startups.
A story of grit
Frrole had started as a social newspaper that was built on Twitter. It analyzed Twitter data city by city, filtering out the noise and pulling out the most useful and popular tweets. These tweets are then algorithmically analyzed and categorized under different sections like events, sports, deals etc. The year was 2011 and the company was off to a good start.
Completely B2C at that point in time, Amarpreet was adamant about the product and gave it his all to build it. He had got together a small team and by the middle of 2012, they had grown to include more than 5 countries and over 50 cities to sieve through the tweets. The product was showing decent traffic but they were yet to see that quantum leap.
The going was tough and Amarpreet acknowledged it in a post titled “We Failed, For Now” but they persisted. Frrole then got selected for the MS Accelerator where it got some good feedback and they pivoted towards an enterprise model. Frrole now sifted through millions of tweets to take out insights for brands to act upon.
“There are lots of people doing social listening and analysis but what we’re offering with Frrole is much more customized and a tailored solution,” Amarpreet told us over a phone call. Frrole is currently targeting media companies and already has the likes of Times of India and MSN as customers. Frrole costs about $100 per month per data stream and has about a dozen customers in total.
The other interesting point to note in this development is the LetsVenture bit. The deal was closed via a crowdfunding platform LetsVenture which has been able to attract some of the best angels from across the country and globally as well. This particular deal also has investors from the US. Previously, BlueGape successfully raised INR 1.5 crore ($250k) from LetsVenture. Glovevestor is another crowdfunding platform from India.
“The platform has been rather convenient in accomplishing the transaction,” says Amarpreet. Apart from the legal support, it made it easy for the angels to come together and put in money into a startup. Frrole will primarily use to funding to scale up as even at this stage, they mine less than 5% of all Twitter data. Frrole is a lean team and intends to stay that way with a base in Bangalore and has now moved registration to the US. Incorporating other social networks would also be on the radar at a much later stage once they master Twitter for across domains.