Penbound Partners Pvt. Ltd, which operates mobile-based multimedia interactive platform Plop, has raised funding from a clutch of investors.
The round has been led by early-stage venture firm Better Capital and Hari Balasubramanian’s EaSyndicate, an early-adopter angel network on the LetsVenture, Plop said in a statement.
Others that took part in the round include former HeroCorp president Rohit Chanana, serial entrepreneur Jayant Kadambi, and South Handlooms MD Sunilkumar Singhvi. Unnamed executives from over-the-top (OTT) and gaming segments also contributed to the round.
The Mumbai-based firm said it will use the funds to broaden its content catalogue and on-board creators to its platform. However, it did not disclose the amount it raised.
“We aim to be the first global platform for immersive story-telling on which writers and even traditional publishing houses around the world could create and monetize their interactive fiction,” Anushka Shetty, co-founder at Plop, said.
Separately, Better Capital’s founder Vaibhav Domkundwar said the firm was confident in its investment because of Plop’s story-writing platform and the opportunities in the overall short-form interactive content space.
Plop, founded by Anushka and Vineet Shetty in January 2019, says it leverages content creators to publish stories across multiple mediums, including text, pictures, and voice notes. The startup says it publishes content through a chat-like interface that allows for better interactivity on digital devices.
The company claims that its service has seen over a 400% jump because of the coronavirus pandemic, with a significant portion of users hailing from the North American and European markets. It is also seeing traction in the Indian and larger Asian markets.
The bet on the firm is also indicative of the larger interest that content-based startups are attracting from investors. Content startups across mediums are looking to capitalise both on increasing internet penetration and time spent on digital platforms to broaden their appeal to both backers and users.
Last month, for example, Pepper Content Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 2.2 crore (around $300,000) as part of its seed funding round from a clutch of investors including Titan Capital, former Nasscom chairperson Saurabh Srivastava, Slideshare co-founder Amit Ranjan, news platform YourStory Media and Indifi co-founder Alok Mittal.
In January, artificial intelligence-driven tech content startup Instoried Research Labs Pvt. Ltd raised funding from US-based venture capital firm SOSV and its Chinese arm Chinaccelerator. In August last year, Instoried raised $500,000 (around Rs 3.57 crore) in a seed funding round from incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts.
In June last year, the self-publishing platform Pratilipi raised $15 million (around Rs 104 crore) in a Series B funding round led by China-based Qiming Venture Partners. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network India, Shunwei Capital, Contrarian Vriddhi Fund and WEH Ventures also participated in the round.