Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing platform Vokal has raised a $5 million Series A round led by Chinese investor Shunwei Capital, 500 Startups. Existing investors of the Bengaluru-based startup such as Accel India and Blume Ventures also participated in the round.
With the fresh capital infusion, the company led by Aprameya Radhakrishna (co-founder of TaxiForSure) and Mayank Bidawatka (co-founder of Goodbox) will build its team and technology.
Founded in 2017, Vokal is a user-generated content platform that allows one to learn from others. Most of Vokal’s current users are from the Hindi-speaking states of 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 currently focused on Hindi audience and it is planning to expand into regional languages such as Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
Vokal app comes in with the options of voice and text. The voice answers can also be converted to text using existing Google APIs.
With a team size of about 30 people, Vokal making itself adaptable to low internet connectivity, low mobile space, and is working on a PWA (progressive web app).
To ramp up its with daily engagement products for the platform, Vokal had acquihired quizzing app StupidChat in an all-stock deal in May this year.
Vokal is the second bet for Shunwei Capital in India as far as the vernacular market is concerned. In January it participated in ShareChat’s $18.2 million Series B round led by Xiaomi.
Notably, Shunwei is also a lead investor in digital lending platforms such as KrazyBee and LoanTap.
According to a study by KPMG and Google regional language users are expected to account for nearly 75 per cent of India’s internet user base by 2021.
If we look into the Indian market, Chinese players have been able to grab a decent market share via their vernacular and tier II, tier III cities-focused products such as content platform (NewsDog, ShareChat), entertainment platforms (Bigo Live, Kwai, TikTok), file sharing apps (SHAREit, Xander), and e-commerce portal (Club Factory).
The development was reported by ET.