Funding News

Twitter’s Rival Koo raises fresh funding led by Tiger Global at $100Mn Valuation

Koo app is all set to take a big flight as it raises $30Mn in a fresh round. International VC giant Tiger Global has led the round while existing investors have also participated in the round. Existing investors that participated in the round include Blume Ventures, Accel and 3one4 Capital.

The Bengaluru-based company has raised the fresh capital at a valuation of $100Mn. This is 4x increase as compared to its previous valuation of $25Mn it commanded in last funding round in February.

Koo has landed a Tiger Global funding at a time when Twitter has locked horns with the Indian government. The microblogging giant is also yet to comply with India’s new IT rules while Koo claims to have already complied. Non-compliance with rules technically paves way for ban on Twitter & Facebook. However, Industry experts argue that unilateral ban on social media platforms like Twitter is still unlikely.

Given that Twitter is unlikely to be banned, Koo’s success will be determined whether it finds a mass market. Twitter’s Indian rival is pretty hopeful and is depending on its USP of regional appeal. Unlike American microblogging giant, Koo allows Indian users to type posts in their own regional languages.

The regional appeal enables Koo to infiltrate into India’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where Twitter has negligible presence. That said, Koo still has a long way to go to catch up with Twitter. Currently, the Indian startup boasts almost $6 Mn (60 Lakh) while Twitter has 17.5 Mn users (1.75 crore).

Is Koo getting Patronage from Indian Government?

As relationship between Twitter and India’s ruling party BJP keeps hitting a new low, the latter is trying to find a better alternative. An alternative that helps BJP to set the political narrative and reach out to their voters.

Koo with its regional connect appears to be the best bet for India’s ruling party. Many BJP ministers, prominent leaders and celebrity supporters of BJP have already migrated to Koo.

Koo’s new logo was recently launched by famous spiritual personality Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, who apparently shares close ties with the BJP party.

This raises the pertinent question as to whether Twitter’s Indian alternative will become a breeding ground for right wingers in the long run.

 

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