Bengaluru-based self-publishing e-platform, Pratilipi, has raised $4.3 million (Rs 28 crore) in a Series A funding round led by Omidyar Network, a company statement said.
Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners; Atul Goel, managing director of the Essel Group’s E-City Ventures; Contrarian Capital and Times Internet Limited and new investors Shunwei Capital and WEH Ventures also participated in the round.
The startup will use the funds to expand and strengthen its product, technology and data science teams and also to grow further and develop partnerships, the statement added.
The self-publishing platform was founded in March 2015 by Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Sankaranarayanan Devarajan, Rahul Ranjan, Prashant Gupta and Sahradayi Modi. Both Singh and Devarajan are management graduates from Delhi University. Prior to starting up, Singh worked with Vodafone, while Devarajan was a procurement consultant with market research firm Beroe Inc.
Ranjan holds a computer science degree from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and was previously working as a system engineer at TCS. Gupta, who has done his masters in computer science from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, was a software development engineer at Amazon. Modi has done her MBA from SP University and has previously worked at DHL and Vodafone India.
Pratilipi, run by Nasadiya Technologies Pvt. Ltd, allows writers to e-publish their poems, stories and other literary works, and readers can read them on the platform for free. It acts like a discovery and reading platform for readers. The startup offers content in eight Indian languages – Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Oriya, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi and Kannada. It plans to add more languages and content formats later this year.
The startup claims that over 80 million content pieces have been read on the platform with over 150,000 content pieces published by more than 22,000 authors.
“Pratilipi has demonstrated steep growth to become the largest destination platform for long format vernacular writing and reading catering to the needs of millions of Indian language Internet users. Their success would be crucial in the creation of an engaged community of millions of readers and hundreds of thousands of vernacular writers,” said Siddharth Nautiyal, investment partner, Omidyar Network.
Pratilipi had previously raised about Rs 6.3 crore ($925,000) in its seed round in February 2016 led by Nexus Venture Partners.