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Venture Catalysts invests in AI-based vernacular content startup Instoried
L to R : Sharmin Ali and Sutanshu Raj, founders of Instoried

Instoried, an artificial intelligence-driven tech content startup, has raised $500,000 (approximately Rs 3.57 crore at current exchange rates) in a seed funding round from incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts.

The company, which currently provides its services in English and Hindi, will use the funds to expand its product into other languages, Instoried said in a statement.

Company co-founder and chief executive officer Sharmin Ali said the company would be able to disrupt the vernacular content industry in India because of its in-house neuro-linguistic programming models.

“This is the best time to build a product that not only analyses vernacular content but also gives smart recommendations to make it emotionally engaging,” Ali said.

Separately, Venture Catalysts president and co-founder Apoorv Ranjan Sharma said one of the advantages of Instoried’s model is its focus on the emotional aspect of vernacular languages. “With a total addressable market size of $300 billion, the deep tech market for content, in particular, holds great potential,” Sharma said.

Instoried, which is operated by Instoried Research Labs Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2018 by Sharmin Ali and Sutanshu Raj. Ali, a graduate of the Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, has previously worked as a senior business analyst with management consulting firm Mu Sigma. Raj, an alumnus of Tampere University of Technology, has been associated with ASADEL Technologies Pvt. Ltd and the Public Health Foundation of India.

The company operates an artificial intelligence-based tool which helps brands to strategise, execute and deliver content using predictive analysis to increase customer engagement. The tool is also able to provide customised recommendations of words and phrases to clients.

Venture Catalysts

The investment in Instoried is the latest technology-focussed bet by the Mumbai-focussed incubation platform.

The firm was set up December 2015 by Anuj Golecha, Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Anil Jain and Gaurav Jain. It usually invests between $250,000 and $1 million in an early-stage startups.

Last month, it invested Rs 4 crore (around $580,260) in Pariksha, a startup which helps aspirants prepare for government exams in their regional languages. It also placed an undisclosed sum in Vested, an investment platform enabling Indian investors to invest in the US stock market.

Earlier this month, Venture Catalysts announced that it had floated a fund with a corpus of Rs 300 crore (around $43.44 million) to help early-stage Indian startups expand their business. 

The 9Unicorns Fund aims to invest in more than 100 companies every year, with a typical ticket size of Rs 60 lakh for a 5% stake in a startup. The fund may also put in an additional Rs 3-5 crore in subsequent funding rounds depending on a company’s ability to meet its growth objectives.

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