Local languages focused self-publishing e-platform, Pratilipi has clinched a Rs 28 crore fresh round led by Omidyar Network and Nexus Venture Partners. The round also saw the participation of Contrarian Capital, Times Internet, WEH Ventures, Shunwei Capital and Atul Goel.
The fresh infusion comes at a time when a number of Chinese firms are investing in vernacular-focused products. Internet-based content companies in China have hit massive scale, and they see similar potential in India.
Recently, local language-centric social networking app ShareChat had secured $18.2 million in a Series B round led by Xiaomi. Besides Xiaomi, its venture capital arm Shunwei Capital also participated in the round.
Founded in 2014 by Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Prashant Gupta, Rahul Ranjan, Sahradayi Modi, and Sankaranarayanan Devarajan, Pratilipi lets writers e-publish their poems, stories and other literary works where readers are able to read them free on the platform.
The platform offers content in eight Indian languages – Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Oriya, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, and Kannada.
Pratilipi claims to have about 1.5 million users on its platform with more than 9,000 writers publishing their work on it. Last year, It had also hosted the first-ever digital festival for Indian languages.
Last year in December, the platform had raised Rs 23.9 crore from Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network, and others. A year and a half ago, it raised Rs 6.3 crore in seed funding from Nexus and other investors.
Pratilipi competes with a clutch of other platforms including Matrubharti, White Falcon, and Reality Premedia among others.
Last year, telecom major Bharti Airtel acquired a strategic stake in mobile-first publishing startup Juggernaut Books, a digital platform to discover and read high-quality affordable books and to submit amateur writing.
Over the past six months, it claims to receive just 500 stories with nine of them securing publishing contracts. Its catalog includes authors like Arundhati Roy, Twinkle Khanna, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sunny Leone and others. It has amassed close to one million downloads across Android and ioS.
The funding news first appeared on Paper.vc.