Indian Angel Network (IAN) led by Sandeep Soni has invested an undisclosed amount in Los Angeles-based startup Vyng Inc., which allows smartphone users to play videos as ringtones.
A former Citibank executive, Soni is currently chief operating officer of software solutions company Unique Business Systems. He is an active angel investor who has funded many startups including SnapLion Global Ltd, a Gibraltar-based firm.
The investment by IAN is part of an angel funding round that started in 2017. The round raised close to $3 million, led by March Capital Partners in a syndicate alongside BAM Ventures, HOF Capital, Inspiration Ventures, and others, including advisors Alex Chung, Giphy co-founder, and Steve Martocci, GroupMe co-founder.
The fresh capital from IAN will be used to bring focus to the Indian market, the company said in a press statement.
“We are incredibly privileged to be invested in by such an amazing set of investors like IAN. We believe that their experience and in-depth knowledge would provide a significant boost to our quest to build, introduce and further expand our innovative offerings not only in the Indian market but also worldwide,” said Paul Kats, co-founder and chief executive, Vyng.
Started in 2016 by Kats and Jeffrey Chernick, Vyng is a lock-screen app that helps users set videos as ringtones.
It allows users to set specific videos or channels as ringtones and even personalise video ringtones for specific contacts. Through the app’s Vyng Bomb feature, users can allow their contacts to set the video that plays when they call.
Vyng claims to have around 500 million videos played across 170 countries since its official launch in early 2017.
“It is noteworthy to mention that in a country like India where user-generated content is growing 30% week after week, Vyng is adding over 20% users week by week,” Soni said.
The company plans to raise additional capital from institutional investors in India.
IAN is the country’s most prolific angel network. The sector-agnostic network has funded start-ups across 17 sectors in India and six other countries. Its portfolio includes startups such as WebEngage, Druva, Box8, Sapience Analytics, WOW Momos, and Consure.
In July 2017, IAN invested in Thinkerbell Labs Pvt. Ltd, which builds literacy devices for the visually impaired, as well as in Pune-based smart wheelchair maker Arcatron Mobility Pvt. Ltd and hotel booking platform Findmystay.com.
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