Bengaluru-based vernacular knowledge-sharing platform Vokal has raised $1.5 million from Kalaari Capital as the part of its Series A financing. Earlier, the company had raised 5 million in July this year that was led by Chinese venture capital firm Shunwei Capital. 500 startups, Accel India & Blume Ventures also participated then.
With additional $1.5 million funds provided by Kalaari Capital, Vokal’s total capital raised in the series-A capital now stands at 6.5 million.
Commenting on the investment, Darshit Vora, principal at Kalaari Capital, said, “Vokal is solving for the knowledge and information needs of vernacular users through a unique platform that has a voice and video first approach, organically growing a strong community of creators and consumers, and 100% platform-originated content. It’s a problem that’s very close to our heart and we are excited to be a part of Vokal’s mission.”
Started in 2015 by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, Vokal is a user-generated content platform for non-English Internet users that allows one user to learn from others. The platform is currently available in Hindi which caters users are from the Hindi-speaking states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
Besides text content, Vokal also has a live video streaming feature where experts share their knowledge with users. The startup claims to have more than 300K questions on its platform and says it sees over 1,000 questions pour in every day on unique topics. The platform has over 0.5 Mn monthly average users right now and plans to grow aggressively.
Vokal plans to deploy newly raised capital to strengthen its product and technology as well as launching its platform in multiple languages such as Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu in the next few months.
Speaking about the current fundraise, Aprameya said that there was a need to enable the next 500 million internet users with a strong, meaningful reason to use the internet. Vokal is building towards that and has the potential to be one of the largest internet companies in India.
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.
Amid to the potential growth rate, there are several startups who focus on local languages, has raised funds in the recent past. ShareChat, MyUpchar, and DailyHunt have also raised funds in the vernacular content space.