A91 Partners, others back Inshorts social network Public App
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Location-based social network Public App, which was launched by news aggregator Inshorts in 2019, has raised Rs 300 crore ($41.3 million) in a funding round that saw Mumbai based private equity firm A91 Partners join its captable. 

The round also saw participation from returning investors, though Public did not specify which of its existing investor were part of the round. 

The latest infusion comes just six months after Public raised $35 million from Addition, a new fund floated by former Tiger Global executive Lee Fixel. SIG Global, operated by US-based quantitative trading firm Susquehanna International Group; and Tanglin Venture Partners, a venture capital fund floated by former Tiger Global executives Ravi Venkatesh and Edwina Yeo, also invested at the time. 

Public founder and CEO Azhar Iqubal said that it has now more than 50 million active users in India. "We first aim to connect the hyper-local communities of Bharat and later make the product global," he added. 

Just last year in January, Public App had said that it had registered 10 million users within six months of its beta launch. The app allows people to record and share whatever is happening around them in various vernacular languages including Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Assamese, Gujarati and Marathi. The app is already being used by over 50,000 elected officials, government authorities and citizen journalists to connect with their locality. 

The company will use the funds to strengthen its tech infrastructure, content offerings and employee base. 

Gautam Mago, general partner at A91 Partners said that Public has continued to maintain best in class retention and engagement metrics while scaling. 

Noida-based Inshorts had last raised $5 million from existing investor Tiger Global in a bridge round of funding in 2017. 

Inshorts was started in 2013 by Deepit Purkayastha, an IIT Kharagpur dropout, along with IIT Delhi dropouts Iqubal and Anunay Arunav. It secured a seed round of funding in June 2014. 

The broader social network and content creation platforms have been attracting a lot of interest from investors as they seek to tap into people from smaller cities primarily engaged on the internet in their vernacular languages. 

Last month, Koo, a microblogging application that is positioned as an alternate to Twitter in India, raised $4.1 million (around Rs 30 crore) in a Series A funding round. 

Last year, Twitter-backed ShareChat raised $40 million in a pre-Series E funding round from a clutch of investors to boost its short video platform Moj. 

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