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Kanpur AngelsShabdnagaristartup fundingStartup Funding India

Hindi Social Networking Site ShabdaNagari Raises $200k From Kanpur Angels & Others

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ShabdaNagari, India's Hindi social networking portal, launched in January 2015, by IIT Mumbai alumni Amitesh Mishra along with Kaplnesh Gupta and Nikhil Tiwari, has raised $2,00,000 from Kanpur Angels and a clutch of other investors. The funds raised will be used to expand genres on the site and upgrade user interface.

Kalpnesh Gupta, Co-founder, ShabdaNagari, says, "With ShabdaNagari, we want to bring together Hindi speakers online where they can connected with like minded people and express their thoughts in their language. In the online space today, Hindi doesn’t feature in even top 10 languages despite being one of most popular languages. We have a goal of bridging this digital divide. The angel investment will give us the boost and confidence to grow ShabdaNagari into one of the largest social networking platform in the country."

ShabdaNagari has more than 20 thousand registered users, 150 thousand unique visits, 6 lakh page visits and over 100 articles being published on the site everyday with 25% repeat traffic, which proves that it has been successful towards giving the Hindi speaking population good quality content on the Internet. Gopal Sutwala, President of Kanpur Angels for the last one year, was mentoring the company, which is incubated in IIT Kanpur.

Rakesh Suri, Promoter, Kanpur Angels and investor, ShabdaNagari says, "We believe that ShabdaNagari is addressing a clear gap which exists in the online space today. With an increasing smartphone penetration in the hinterland, there is a demand for new and original local language content on the Internet. Currently, many large companies are working towards ensuring that the next 100 million users on the Internet should be able to engage in their local language. We believe ShabdaNagari is equipped to facilitate that with their vision to create a Hindi Internet platform."

Kanpur Angels have been closely associated with IIT Kanpur and other top colleges in Kanpur and have noticed a trend that entrepreneurs from small towns were compelled to shift to metros for raising funds and better infrastructure. That’s why members of Kanpur Angels have decided to set aside a corpus of Rs 10 crore to provide an angel investment to some of the promising startups in the city and help them grow. ShabdaNagari is their first investment.

ShabdaNagari has a fully featured mobile app available on Android platforms. In the coming months the company aims to reach over 1 - 1.5 million users, provide native mobile applications; create a marketplace for vernacular books on ShabdaNagari.

Shabdanagari is the first of its kind service that provides the ability to read and write content in Hindi. Users can post their articles, pictures, videos as well as questions using the tools provided on the website. The website was started last year with a vision to create a new platform where local language users in India can easily communicate and share their thoughts on Internet. The founding team of Shabdanagari has five members including Amitesh Misra, Nikhil Tiwari, Kalpnesh Gupta, Gopal Sutwala and Amaresh Chandra Misra.

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