[Funding alert] Lokal raises $3M from Y Combinator, 3one4 Capital, others
News and classifieds platform Lokal has raised $3 million from 3one4 Capital, Y Combinator, RB Investments, SOMA Capital, and its existing investor – India Quotient.
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.
Twitch Co-founder Kevin Lin; Xiaomi Indonesia Head Alvin Tse; Starling Ventures, US-based XRM Media, and tech investment firm I2BF Global Ventures also participated in the round.
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".
In September this year, Lokal made the cut at Y Combinator’s Demo Day in Bengaluru.
The online news app, targeting 900-million non-English speaking users of India, was founded by two IITians - Jani Pasha and Vipul Choudhary, in May 2018. Lokal provides local news, jobs, classifieds, and matrimonial ads through its Android app. The app has more than three million downloads in 27 districts across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
According to the founders, the app has deeper penetration than the traditional digital platforms in all the districts they operate in.
Jani Pasha told YourStory:
“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”.
Lokal plans to launch in three more states in the coming months to bring more regional users on its digital platform.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)