[Funding alert] Tech platform Zoko raises $1.4M in seed round from Y Combinator, Binny Bansal backed O21 Capital and others
Tech platform Zoko on Wednesday said it raised $1.4 million (about Rs 10.2 crore) in seed funding from Y Combinator and marquee angel investors Ryan Hoover via the Weekend Fund and 021 Capital Fund which is backed by Binny Bansal and others.
According to the statement, the startup will use the new round of funding to bolster its engineering and develop training content in several languages, which can help more customers use Zoko's products.
In fact, it will also focus on platform integrations, geographical expansion, and new features.
Established in October 2018 by two high school friends — Arjun Paul and Aromal Sivadasan — from a small town in Kerala, Zoko makes it easy for online merchants to conduct sales, marketing, and customer support on the Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp.
Speaking about the platform, Arjun Paul, CEO, Zoko, said,
"WhatsApp is the internet of India, and we are enabling merchants to do business on this internet. The next billion is already using WhatsApp to communicate, consume news, entertainment, buy and sell stuff, and even fall in love! If you are a business that wants to reach the #nextbillion people who are going to use the internet for the first time via WhatsApp, you have no choice but to do it on WhatsApp.”
Since 2005, Y Combinator has funded over 3,000 startups at a combined valuation of over $300 billion. Zoko is among the 300 startups selected by Y Combinator from over 16,000 applications for its Winter 2021 cohort.
The startup claims to have doubled its growth every 90 days since it brought in its first dollar in revenue.
Commenting on the investment, Anas Rahman Junaid, an early-stage investor and the Founder of Hurun India Rich List, said,
“Zoko has an ambitious vision to transform the shopping experience on the WhatsApp platform for larger businesses. We see significant value in the founders’ approach towards forging the right partnerships while achieving this vision. We are really happy to back Zoko, and be a part of this extraordinary journey so far.”