[Funding alert] Content marketplace Pepper raises Rs 2.2 Cr from Titan Capital, YourStory, other angels
Online content marketplace platform Pepper recently raised Rs 2.2 crore as part of its seed funding round, led by Titan Capital, a fund backed by Snapdeal Founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.
Other marquee investors who participated in this round include YourStory Media; Dr Saurabh Srivastava, Co-founder of IAN and NASSCOM; Slideshare cofounder Amit Ranjan; Indifi's Co-founder and CEO Alok Mittal; Sidharth Rao, Chairman of Dentsu Webchutney; Ritesh Malik, Co-founder and CEO of Innov8; Sanjay Tripathy, former CMO, HDFC Life, and CEO of Agilio Labs; Manan Maheshwari, Co-founder of WYSH; and Hemanshu Jain, Co-founder of Diabeto.
Founded in November 2017 by then second-year BITS Pilani students Anirudh Singla and Rishabh Shekhar, the Mumbai-based startup aims to be the largest content marketplace platform in India. From strategy to execution, Pepper's goal is to make content creation accessible through an on-demand virtual workforce at all scales, verticals and languages.
From a dorm room in BITS Pilani, the founders who are yet to graduate, have been able to aggregate over Rs 1.75 crore of revenues and acquire a network of over 25,000 content creators.
Anirudh Singla, the CEO of Pepper, told YourStory,
"With passion economy as a growing trend, it is important that you are able to enterprise your creators and help them grow. Pepper’s technology platform will not only be able to scale content creation to the tunes of hundreds of thousands of content pieces, but will also be able to create a framework that allows virtual collaboration of creators through tools on the platform."
Anirudh further added that the startup was also expanding into graphics as a vertical, and was launching a first-of-its-kind ‘content-as-eCommerce’ model, which brands itself as the fastest content experience. Brands, SMEs, and individuals can now order content in custom formats and get automated deliveries in available content genres, verticals, and languages.
The startup is now working with brands like Swiggy, InfoEdge, Urban Company, BookMyShow, Times Internet, India Today Group, Zivame, Bharat Matrimony, Simplilearn, and over 250 others.
Alok Mittal, Co-founder and CEO, Indifi who invested in the startup said,
"Pepper got my attention as soon as it was pitched to me. But what convinced me were the founders, who at such an early age have made it into something formidable. They have been able to crack a lot of things, unit economics being one, and I believe that is the best start anyone can have for their company."
Pepper aims to target over 1,000 businesses and 200,000 content creators over the next 18 months across domains, to create an ecosystem for creators across graphic, voice, and video.
Amit Ranjan, Co-founder of Slideshare, said the startup was building out an innovative digital content marketplace catering to the needs of Indian corporates, SMEs, and startups.
He added, "In a short time frame, Pepper has notched up an impressive revenue run rate, is building relevant editorial tools, and looks poised to scale up their business model. I'm happy to participate in their seed funding round and help Anirudh and his team in this journey."
Pepper has also been a part of Tech 30 at TechSparks 2019 hosted by YourStory and a finalist at the Lufthansa startup expo by TiE, Delhi-NCR.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)