Local video news provider Lokal, has bagged $3 million (approx INR 22 crore) investment from 3one4 Capital, Y Combinator, RB Investments, SOMA Capital, India Quotient, and a bunch of investors, reported Inc42.
The Bengaluru-based startup Lokal, will be using the newly-infused financial to improve its product. It also plans to expand its team with an aim to foray into new markets as well as strengthening its presence in existing ones.
Madhukar Sinha, partner, India Quotient, said that digitisation of classifieds in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and beyond is a large and lucrative opportunity.
“Local news and information can be served much faster and in a better way digitally,” he added.
In August last year, Lokal had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Mumbai-based venture capital firm India Quotient.
Lokal was founded by Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary in July 2018. It provides a platform to serve vernacular local news to its audience based on their location and their preferred local language. Currently, the startup is only active in the Surypeta district of Telangana.
The startup provides news with the help of its network of local journalists and qualified freelancers that submit the news on its platform to facilitate quicker news delivery.
Since the news is sourced from different journalists, the startup tries to curb the menace of fake news with the help of ‘Lokal Star’. The designated ‘Lokal Star’ is tasked with the duty to verify all the news items that need verification from a local government authority including police, elected politician, among other elected and designated government employee.
The startup Lokal claims that it has a presence in 27 districts across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and it plans to expand to three more states over the next year.
Furthermore, a report by Nielsen and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) 2019 suggests that even though internet penetration is higher in urban areas with 192 Mn users, there is an equal split of urban and rural internet users. The report also highlighted that with vernacular content coming in, internet penetration in rural, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities is on a rise.