Bolo, a video-based knowledge-sharing platform which offers content in Hindi, has raised Rs 3 crore (around $430,000) in a seed round of funding led by Nexus Venture Partners.
The startup said in a statement that there were also contributions from online learning firm Unacademy’s founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh; entrepreneurship platform GrowthStory’s founders Ganesh Krishnan and Srinivas Anumolu; and digital media startup Newsdog’s founder Chen Yukun.
Bolo said in a statement that the fresh capital would be used to strengthen its team across product, technology and operations.
Bolo is a knowledge-sharing community that allows users to ask and answer questions in Hindi. The answers are in the form of short videos of less than a minute each.
Users can also engage in video calls with experts on the platform to get personalised solutions to their problems. Private video calls are charged. The app is currently available in Hindi and the most popular categories on the app are beauty and fashion, fitness, cooking and career counselling.
The startup was founded last July by Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee graduates Nishant Chandra and Siddharth Maheshwari. Chandra worked with Unacademy in the past while Siddharth founded artificial intelligence-based content discovery platform Flicksup.
“We aim to enable knowledge-sharing among Indians coming online for the first time in a format they prefer and the language that they are comfortable with,” Chandra said.
Pratik Poddar, vice president of Nexus Venture Partners, said the firm remained bullish on the Indian language consumption story,
“We saw a shift in the behavioural pattern that people were searching on YouTube for information as some would on Google, and are now looking for information in video format which is trustworthy and easy to consume. But there is a lack of supply of structured content and discoverability is a problem,” said Poddar.
Deals in the segment
June 2019: Self-publishing e-platform Pratilipi, which offers content in vernacular languages, raised $15 million in a Series B round led by China-based Qiming Venture Partners.
May 2019: Homescreen Network, a multilingual media production startup, pocketed $2 million in Series A funding from venture capital firm Saama Capital.
May 2019: Local language content and news aggregator Dailyhunt secured $22 million in a fresh round of funding from Belgium-based Sofina SA.
February 2019: Video content platform Awaaz raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Matrix Partners.
September 2018: Vernacular social networking platform ShareChat raised Rs 720.29 crore ($99.23 million then) in a round led by existing investor Shunwei Capital.