Can Twitter Be Banned In India? Twitter Alternative Koo Gets Rs 218 Crore Funding!

Indian microblogging app Koo raises $30 million in its latest round of funding, led by Tiger Global.
Indian microblogging app Koo raises $30 million in its latest round of funding, led by Tiger Global.

The homegrown microblogging application Koo has raised has raised about Rs 218 crore, or $30 million in its Series B funding, led by the New York-based investment firm, Tiger Global.

It is also among the few social networking players in the country that has complied with the mandatory IT rules put into place by the Indian government. 

Following the Series B funding, the current valuation of Koo has jumped nearly five times and is now valued at over $100 million.

Tiger Global Funds Koo

Twitter-rival Koo, or the Indian alternative to Twitter, has raised $30 million from the US based Tiger Global, along with its existing investors, in its latest round of funding, Series B.

Existing investors include Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator, stated Koo.

This has raised Koo’s valuation to over $100 million, which is almost 5 times its previous valuation.

While Tiger Global has led Koo’s new funding round, two other new investors have backed up Koo: IIFL’s venture capital fund and South Korea’s Mirae Assets.

How Has Timing Played a Major Role for Koo?

On February 25, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITy) had introduced the new intermediary guidelines for social media platforms, which they had to comply with by May 25, in order to operate in India.

Indian microblogging app, Koo announced complying with these IT rules last week, while Twitter, Whatsapp and Facebook have not yet complied to the same.

Besides, a wire agency notes that while this fundraising deal would have been closed earlier, the announcement has come in the backdrop of Twitter India’s new clash with the Indian government.

What Are Koo’s Future Plans Post Funding?

The capital infusion occurs in Koo, at a time when its froeign competitors are dealing with strong scrutiny in India.

Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-Founder and CEO of Koo stated that the company will utilize the fresh round of funding to mainly strengthen engineering, product and community efforts across all Indian languages at Koo.

The Koo app allows its users to post in regional languages, like Marathi, Tamil and Kannada, besides English and Hindi.

“We have aggressive plans to grow into one of the world’s largest social media platforms in the next few years. Every Indian is cheering for us to get there soon. Tiger Global is the right partner to have on board to realize this dream.”, added Radhakrishna.

Koo app downloads have touched nearly 60 lakh, from around 3-4 million in February. Tiger Global has been one of the leading investors in the Indian startup ecosystem having backed 20 unicorns from India, like Flipkart, Ola, Razorpay, and Cred, among others.

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