Pulse, a social networking app enabling users to stay connected with college/school communities around them in a fun, visual way has raised $500k in funding from SAIF Partners. Pulse provides users a full-screen visual experience of streams of colleges around them, with customized stickers to make the experience more fun and engaging! With the freshly raised funds, Pulse aims to expand its presence to other cities including Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Manipal, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc and to ramp up its technology team.
Pulse was co-founded by IIT Roorkee alumnus Karthik Vaidyanath, and Prakhar Khanduja, in late October 2016. The core idea behind the app was to create a platform for the millennials, where they would not only consume content that is locally relevant to them, but also create and share it with a very geo-specific community.
The main USP of Pulse is that it gives its users access to hyper-local content around them, and a platform to contribute to & share it with a wider group within college, and across college communities.
“Typical broadcasting social networks like Facebook & Twitter have limited users posting daily as it’s a public broadcast to the world with limited privacy. Contrary to broadcasting, through our elaborate on-ground market research we realized that by narrowcasting to the relevant audience within & across nearby colleges, and giving the content hyper-local relevance, it greatly boosted content interactions as well as significantly reduced the inhibition of users for content creation. Hyperlocal social networking & narrowcasting is the next wave of social networking.”, said Karthik. Pulse has almost 30% of its users posting daily, with a DAU/MAU ratio of ~25%.
The ability to add highly relatable locally-relevant stickers to the images has been received extremely well by the college communities. Moreover, the app has been designed to perfectly suit the Asian millenial target market – It utilizes minimal internet bandwidth and one can view content as well as post completely offline.
“The inception of Pulse happened when my nephew told me how he misses out on events in his college. Thats where we went on ground for 3 months and met over 5000 kids from various colleges and schools across India to understand how they think. Then we got a few of them to work with us for a few weeks and we collectively came out with all the features with them. This exercise also showed us how users today quickly prefer adding a sticker to their pictures to express their emotions over typing a caption, which itself is a huge market. And with the feedback we’ve got, Pulse has made content creation more intuitive for users. Pulse is the first consumer app in India which is made by the college kids and for the college kids,” said Prakhar Khanduja, Cofounder, Pulse.
“College & school students in India did not have yet have a platform that was built ground-up for them and this had created a white space for a product to emerge. We really like the way the team has gone about building a platform that provides young users relevant content in the form of full-screen multimedia rich stories, which is something they understand the best,” said Mayank Khanduja, SAIF Partners.
With an on-ground team of just two people, in a very short duration Pulse has managed to rope in most of the major colleges around the Delhi-NCR area through their unique community program. Pulse aims to be the de-facto app for millenials to know what’s happening in their college communities around them.
Pulse had raised $500K seed from SAIF Partners a few months back. With Pulse getting great reviews throughout colleges in Delhi, the next phase is to scale up across colleges outside Delhi/NCR including Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Manipal, etc.
Pulse, in the previous round of funding, had raised capital from eminent Angel Investors like Rajan Anandan, Rajesh Sawhney, Anupam Mittal, Uday Shankar (CEO, StarTV), Anand Chandrasekaran, Amit Ranjan, etc. They’re currently in talks with investors in India, China & the US for a larger round.
Image : Prakhar Khanduja, Cofounder, Pulse