Local language news aggregator and knowledge platform Lokal has raised $3 million (~ Rs 21.2 crore) in a funding from a clutch of investors, including the Bengaluru-based 3one4 Capital and Y Combinator, reported VCCircle.
Singapore-based boutique venture fund RB Investments, SOMA Capital also contributed to the round, along with existing investor India Quotient, which had previously invested an undisclosed amount in the startup, in August last year.
Lokal will use the funds to enhance its product, team expansion, foray into new markets.
Founded in 2018, by Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary, Lokal is serving a largely under-served market in India which got access to the internet recently because of Jio and cheaper smartphones. Lokal gets its news from qualified freelancer ground journalists. The company claims to delivers local news quicker than any other news platform.
Besides local online platforms, global online giants are also witnessing is a rise in the number of content viewers in vernacular languages including Hindi, Tamil and Bengali in smaller cities and towns. In September, Google-owned video platform YouTube announced that there is a significant amount of content is being created in vernacular languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam.
Last month, Matrubharti, also a vernacular content platform, has raised about Rs. 3.24 crores in angel round of funding from US-based Gujarati NRI angel investors.
In July last year, vernacular knowledge platform Vokal had raised $5 million in a Series A round of funding lead by China’s Shunwei Capital, and 500 startups. Vokal also acqui-hired StupidChat Technologies, a quizzing app startup, in an all-stock deal, in May this year.