Mitron, Chingari, Trell — homegrown short-video apps that secured funding in the pandemic
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After the downfall of ByteDance-owned TikTok app, many homegrown short-format video platforms rose to prominence. The app, which was banned along with 58 other Chinese apps in July, had the largest and most loyal user base in India.
At a time like this, many apps like, , , and came up to fill the void that TikTok’s ban had caused, notching up 3.5 million downloads almost overnight.
In fact, according to TechCrunch, social media giant Facebook is also testing short-form videos on its app in India. Moreover, Facebook-owned image-sharing app Instagram is reportedly testing a TikTok-like feature called 'Reels' in the country.
Apart from witnessing a collective surge in traction, these homegrown short-video platforms have bagged funding from top VCs also post the Indian government's ban on Chinese apps. YourStory lists a few.
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In August, TikTok rival Chingari raised $1.3 million in seed funding from AngelList India, Utsav Somani's iSeed, Village Global, LogX Ventures, and Jasminder Singh Gulati of.
The funding will be used to hire more talent to accelerate product development, ramping up the platform, making it more engaging and consumer-focussed, as well as engaging a larger consumer base by offering a seamless short-video entertainment experience.
The fast-growing Indian alternative to banned TikTok, with a 25 million-strong user base and over three million daily active users, recently emerged as the top winner in the "social" category of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.
It is also witnessing significant traction from the US, Singapore, and the Middle East, possibly due to a large Indian immigrant population in these countries.
Just a month after raising Rs 2 crore in a seed round, homegrown short-form video app raised another $5 million in August as part of its Series A round from Nexus Venture Partners. Existing investors 3one4 Capital and Arun Tadanki’s private syndicate LetsVenture, and other notable angels also participated in the round.
The funding will be used primarily for product development, increasing user engagement, and talent acquisition. It will also use the funding to onboard a network of content creators and invest in its brand.
Launched in April 2020 by Anish Khandelwal and Shivank Agarwal, Mitron allows users to create, view, upload, and share short videos. The app has over 33 million downloads on Google Play Store and claims to have over nine billion video views per month.
Mitron app got a special mention under the “social category” of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge concluded recently.
Community based app Trell
Lifestyle-community-commerce platform Trell raised its Series A round of funding of $11.4 million led by KTB Network in August. With this, the total funding raised by Trell comes to $16.95 million.
The new round of investment will be used by the startup to further expand and grow the fostering community, to enhance the platform's personalisation and recommendation engine with advanced machine learning algorithms and AI, and add new features that will excite the user’s experience.
Founded in August 2017 by IIT Bombay alumni Arun Lodhi, Prashant Sachan, Pulkit Agrawal, and NITIE alumnus Bimal Kartheek Rebba, Trell is a mobile-based application, where users come together to share three-minute vertical videos around their interests and passions in the categories, and connect with like-minded individuals in their native languages.
The Bengaluru-based app has over 20 categories available in eight Indian languages. Since the ban on Chinese apps, Trell claims to have witnessed 500 percent growth with over 15 million creators on its platform receiving more than five billion monthly views. It has over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store.
Varun Saxena, Founder, Bolo Indya
Gurugram-based user-generated content platformraised $300,000 in pre-Series A1 round led by Eagle10 Ventures, India Accelerator, and HNIs. With this round, the startup’s total fund sums up to $500,000.
Founded by Varun Saxena, Bolo Indya is a UGC short-videos app, which enables users to create two-minute videos, sharing their knowledge, experience, and opinions across interest areas, and taking the videos to the local language audience who share similar interests.
The funding will be used to enhance personalisation and recommendation engines, develop language evangelists, and strengthen the team, as well as broaden and accelerate product development.
Currently, the app has over one million downloads on the Google Play Store.