A local alternative for Twitter Inc. has raised $30 million in a growth funding round led by Tiger Global at a time the U.S.-based micro-blogging site is engaged in a clash with the Indian government.
The fundraising by Koo also saw participation from other existing investors such as Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator, it said in a statement. While the company didn’t disclose the valuation, two people in the know told BloombergQuint that the round valued the startup at about $150 million.
A year-old app, Koo, which lets users send out tweet-like posts in English and other regional languages, aims to use the fresh capital to strengthen its engineering, product and community efforts across all Indian languages.
“We have aggressive plans to grow into one of the world’s largest social media platforms in the next few years. Every Indian is cheering for us to get there soon,” Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder and chief executive officer at Koo, was quoted as saying in the statement. “Tiger Global is the right partner to have on board to realise this dream.”
Koo has been able to garner 6 million users, of which 1 million came in the last month alone. It has been able to build on the user base growth amid the backlash Twitter has received from the Indian government over blocking certain content. That prompted prominent government officials such as Industries and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal; Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar; Bharatiya Janata Party IT Cell head Amit Malviya; among others, to join Koo, urging supporters to follow suit.
Earlier this year, several angel investors and founders, including Flipkart Chief Executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy; former Indian Cricketer Javagal Srinath; BookMyShow Founder Ashish Hemrajani; Udaan Co-Founder Sujeet Kumar; and Zerodha Founder Nikhil Kamat picked up Chinese investor Shunwei Capital’s stake in Koo’s parent.
In February, the app had raised $4.1 million from Accel, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator, and 3one4 Capital.