Beijing-based venture capital fund Shunwei Capital has exited Bombinate Technologies, which runs Twitter rival Koo and vernacular knowledge-sharing app Vokal.
According to a statement, Shunwei has sold its minority stake in the Bengaluru-based company to undisclosed existing investors along with “prominent personalities and entrepreneurs”. They include former Indian cricketer Javagal Srinath, BookMyShow founder Ashish Hemrajani, Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, and Zerodha founder Nikhil Kamat.
"I am very happy to be backing Koo -- one of India's most talked about social media platforms,” Srinath said, commenting on the investment. “The fact that they are building a platform to bring the voices of Indian language audiences onto the internet is commendable and as an Indian I extend my support to them wholeheartedly.”
In July 2018, Shunwei Capital had led a $5 million Series A round in Bombinate Technologies. Other participants at the time included 500 Startups, Accel, and Blume Ventures.
The Chinese fund has since held a little more than 9% stake in the company. However, while announcing a fundraise from 3One4 Capital and others in February 2021, Radhakrishna announced that the Chinese fund will soon exit the firm.
“As stated earlier, we had been in discussion with Shunwei Capital to enable a smooth exit after it invested in our company 2.5 years ago, while we were raising funds for Vokal. They have now fully exited the parent company Bombinate Technologies,” Aprameya Radhakrishna, the co-founder and CEO of Koo, said in the statement.
The move comes as Koo tries to position itself as a truly ‘atmanirbhar’ alternative to Twitter.
Since its launch in March 2020, the platform has seen over 5 million users, including several government officials and popular personalities. Actors Kangana Ranaut and Anupam Kher, and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have also joined the platform. Read our full review of the app here.