Tuesday, November 12, 2019

P2P knowledge sharing startup Vokal gets ₹11 crores from Kalaari as part of series A

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Bengaluru-based vernacular knowledge sharing startup Vokal has secured around ₹11 crores ($1.5 million) from new investor Kalaari Capital, as part of series A round.

The startup had announced its series A round in July when it raised $5 million led by Chinese firm Shunwei Capital, along with participation from existing investors 500 Startups, Accel India, and Blume Ventures.

With the fresh investment, the total capital raised by Vokal in series A stands at $6.5 million.

Vokal was founded by former TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishnan and Mayank Bidawatka in 2017. It provides a platform for Indian users to gain and share knowledge in Indian languages. The users can ask and answer questions in both voice and text format, using their preferred Indian language.

Talking about the investment, Mayank Bidawatka, Co-Founder, Vokal, said, “We are a mix between products like Quora and Reddit with an Indian twist – an emphasis on voice and video. Our innovation lies in the Indianisation of existing solutions and providing the easiest way for people to express themselves. We are happy to have Kalaari join us as partners in our mission towards creating a destination for the next 500 million Indian language Internet users.”

Vokal is currently available in Hindi and plans to incorporate other Indian languages on its platform in the coming months. It also provides live video streaming for experts to share knowledge with users.

The vernacular startup claims to have more than 300,000 questions and answers on its platforms, with thousands of questions and answers, posted every day.

Other Indian startups working in the vernacular domain include DailyHunt, ShareChat, Roposo, Lokal, among many others.

According to a Google and KPMG report in April 2017, Indian language users are expected to reach 536 million users growing at a CAGR of 18%. While English language users are expected to grow at a CAGR of 3% to reach 199 million by 2021.

There is no surprise why more and more startups are looking to leverage the growing opportunity in the Indian vernacular domain. Even the e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart have started their foray into the vernacular domain.

Recently, Amazon launched its mobile website and app in Hindi, in order to target 100 million Indian language users. While Flipkart acquired AI-powered speech recognition startup Liv.ai, to penetrate tier 2 cities.

Check out the list of top 10 Indian startups working in the vernacular domain.


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