Vernacular news aggregator Lokal bags $3 mn from 3one4, Y Combinator, others
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Regional language news aggregator and classifieds platform Lokal has raised $3 million (approximately Rs 21.20 crore at current exchange rates) in a funding round from a clutch of investors, including the Bengaluru-based 3one4 Capital and the US-based seed investor Y Combinator.

Other investors that participated in the include RB Investments, SOMA Capital. Existing investor India Quotient also contributed to the round. India Quotient had previously invested an undisclosed sum in the company in August last year.

The Bengaluru-based company will use the funds to enhance its product, team expansion, foray into new markets, Lokal said in a statement.

The startup, operated by Behtar Technology Pvt. Ltd, also received investments from Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Xiaomi Indonesia head Alvin Tse, South Korean venture capital firm Starling Ventures, the US-based XRM Media, and I2BF Global Ventures.

Jani Pasha, co-founder at Lokal, said the firm focusses on having density in a particular location, and providing users with access to exclusive content.

Lokal, which was founded by Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary in June 2018, firm uses a network of stringers and freelance reporters to provide original news content in a particular location.

The firm provides users access to a local information feed that offers data and reports on matters such as vegetable prices, weather information, gold prices, and movie theatre listings, among others.

The company currently has a presence in 27 districts across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and plans to expand to three more states over the next year.

The startup is not the only one focussed on regional languages to receive investor interest. For instance, in August, artificial intelligence-driven content startup Instoried raised $500,000 (around Rs 3.57 crore) in a seed funding round from incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts.

In June, self-publishing e-platform Pratilipi raised $15 million (around Rs 104 crore) in a Series B funding round led by the 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.

Prior to that, in May, vernacular hyperlocal news platform PublicVibe raised an undisclosed sum of money in a funding round led by the Indian Angel Network. Anthill Ventures and Hyderabad Angels also invested in the startup.

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