Lee Fixel debuts Addition in India, bets on video based social networking app Public

Lee Fixel debuts Addition in India, bets on video based social networking app Public
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
30 Sep, 2020

Former Tiger Global Management executive Lee Fixel, best known for his early bet on Flipkart, has re-entered the Indian startup market with an investment in location based social networking video app Public.

Fixel’s newly formed venture capital firm Addition led a $35 million (Rs 258 crore at current exchange rates) investment round in Inshorts MediaLabs, which operates Public and news curation app Inshorts. 

Private equity firm SIG Global and Tanglin Venture Partners, a venture capital fund floated by former Tiger Global executives Ravi Venkatesh and Edwina Yeo, co-led the round.

Like India, InShorts is familiar territory for Fixel. He previously led three investment rounds into Inshorts (previously known as News In Shorts) during his tenure at Tiger Global.    

Often referred to as the rainmaker for the New York-headquartered alternative investments firm, Fixel quit the company after more than a decade of spearheading its India investments. Under him, Tiger Global invested early in Flipkart in 2009. He also led the firm’s early investments in ride hailing platform Ola, logistics firm Delhivery and classifieds platform Quikr.

Prior to this round, Inshorts had raised nearly $30 million from a slew of investors including Tiger Global, Rebright Partners, Binny Bansal, Sachin Bansal, and Times Internet.

Public App, launched early this year by Inshorts, is a video-based social network app for local services such as businesses, jobs, and classifieds. It allows people to record and share happenings around them, enabling real-time local updates. 

The capital raised in this round will be used to strengthen its technology infrastructure, content offerings and employee, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Through the Public app, we are helping leaders and authorities to reach out to people to communicate the right and relevant information and combat misinformation around the virus,” Azhar Iqubal, founder and CEO, Public App, said.

Launched in April this year, the app claims more than 50 million active users who create over 1 million videos every month. It aims to achieve more than 100 million users by year-end.