As the tensions between social media giant Twitter and the Indian government brews unlike ever before, its home-grown rival Koo announced a $30 million fundraise led by Tiger Global Management. With the $30 million investment, the desi microblogging platform’s current valuation now stands at $100 million, from a measly $20 million earlier.
On Wednesday, the India-based startup announced a fundraise of $30 million in a financing round that was led by some major investment platforms such as Tiger Global Management, Mirae Asset and the capital fund of India Infoline.
Koo valued at $100 million, Founder says have “aggressive plans to grow”
These hefty investors join the slew of existing investors such as 3one4 Capital, Blume Ventures and Accel who also participated in the recent financing round. Earlier in February 2021, the startup was valued at $25 million and its value has now shot four times to $100 million.
Founder of the platform Radhakrishna after raising $30 million issued a statement saying-
“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.”
The striking similarities between Koo and Twitter
One should note that Twitter bears striking resemblance to Twitter, right from its user interface, to its logo to its sharing and posting mechanism. With its resemblance, it can be easily inferred that the platform is looking to amass users from Twitter and give them an experience where they may not feel any discomfort. Similar to Twitter, Koo too boasts a trending hashtags space similar to trending topics on its international rival. While Twitter lets people post a tweet in 280 characters, Koo gives them a chance to ‘koo’ in 400 characters.
Famous personalities that have signed up on Koo
Currently, the platform has over 60 lakh users, a number far lesser than Twitter. However, one should note that several high-profile government dignitaries and celebrities, including Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani, Anupam Kher, Sambit Patra, Amish Tripathi, Anil Kumble, Sadhguru and more have signed up on the platform and have asked their followers to do so.
Koo’s journey so far
Koo was co-founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna in 2020 and was suddenly the talk of the town when it was featured in Prime Minister’s speech in Mann ki Baat after it won the second prize in the Aatmanirbharta App Challenge. The app was also featured in the Google Play’s ‘Best Daily Essential App for 2020’ and has amassed 5 million people in less than 2 years. It should be noted that the founder of the platform, Mr. Radhakrishna was also the co-founder of TaxiForSure, a car rental aggregator which was later acquired by Ola.
Koo is backed by Tiger Global, a hedge fund which is responsible for backing over 20 Indian unicorns. The company has backed tech startups from different niches such as Flipkart, Ola, Razorpay, Cred, etc.
The Shiksha Take
Koo’s fundraise comes at a time when its rival Twitter has been receiving a lot of flak from the Delhi Police, the Central government and a certain section of Indian masses. It will not be a surprise if the app is able increase its user base exponentially as it’s the only one that has complied with the IT Rules 2021.
The new IT Rules that were first introduced by the Indian IT Ministry back in February 2021, aims to distribute accountability equally, from the users to the platform. Any social media platform with user base of over 50 lakh will need to comply and if they fail to do so, they will not be legally immune to any intervention that government may take against them.