Peer-to-peer content generation platform Vokal says the next big opportunity lies in the vernacular space, and aims to solve the market's knowledge and information discovery needs.
Bengaluru-based Indian language knowledge sharing platform Vokal has raised $6.5 million led by Kalaari Capital, as a part of its Series A round. The platform, founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, had in July raised $5 million led by Shunwei Capital. This round also saw participation from Shunwei Capital, 500 Startups, Accel India, and Blume Ventures.
Vokal is a peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for India’s non-English Internet users. The team claims to have over 300,000 questions, with thousands of questions pouring in every day on varied topics unique to India.
Vokal is currently available in Hindi and plans to launch in multiple languages in the next few months. It also has a live video streaming feature where experts share their knowledge by streaming live to users.
Speaking of this fund raise, Aprameya said there was a need to enable the next 500 million internet users with a strong, meaningful reason to use the internet. Vokal is building towards that and has the potential to be one of the largest internet companies in India.
“Kalaari Capital has been a strong investor in the past 10 years and understands the present fundamental need for a vernacular product to grow the market of internet users. We see them as strong partners in our journey,” Aprameya said.
Community of creators and consumers
Most non-English speaking Indians either rely on family and friends, or a few content platforms. Aprameya said there isn’t much high-quality content in Indian languages that can cater to the masses. A person who doesn’t know English in India has a huge problem of finding relevant answers to his questions.
Darshit Vora, Principal, Kalaari Capital, said in a press statement, “We believe most vernacular users will begin their internet journey consuming content in many forms - entertainment, news, information, and knowledge. Vokal is solving the knowledge and information needs of vernacular users through a unique platform that has a voice and video-first approach, organically growing a strong community of creators and consumers, and 100 percent platform-originated content. It’s a problem that’s very close to our heart and we are excited to be a part of Vokal’s mission.”
India is one of the few countries with large language diversity. The Indian vernacular segment is poised to be almost twice the size of the US. Mayank said their internet experience is broken with basic translation widgets available as solutions for their information and knowledge needs.
Vokal believes they have a unique solution for solving the knowledge and information discovery needs of the vernacular market.
“We are a mix between products like Quora and Reddit with an Indian twist – an emphasis on voice and video. Our innovation lies in the Indianisation of existing solutions and providing the easiest way for people to express themselves. We are happy to have Kalaari join us as partners in our mission towards creating a destination for the next 500 million Indian language Internet users,” Mayank said.
(Disclaimer: Kalaari Capital is an investor in YourStory)