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Sequoia, Xiaomi pump-in $7 Mn in chat entertainment platform Samosa Labs


Social media and chat entertainment startup Samosa Labs has raised $7 million in a fresh funding round led by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India.

With the fresh round, the total risk capital raised by Samosa Labs has reached $9 million. Earlier, Sequoia invested about $1.3 million in the Hyderabad-based startup’s seed round in 2015.

Founded in 2015 by Abhilash Inumella, Samosa Labs is a chat entertainment platform that enables user-generated audio and gifs that can be shared across other social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

Besides, the firm launched video-based content in February this year.

According to Abhilash Inumella, CEO, Samosa Labs, About 5,000 videos are created every day by users across genres of romance, comedy, devotion including elements from pop culture such as songs, movies, images.

He also added that about 98 per cent of the traffic on Samosa Labs is driven through chat shares on WhatsApp.

The platform saw its daily active users rise almost 10 fold in the last 6 months. Additionally, the startup is testing monetisation models around advertising revenues and brand building.

As of now, Samosa Labs is focussing on South Indian markets but now it is also piloting in Northern India.

This is the third investment for Xiaomi in content space. In April 2016, the Chinese company had led a $25 million investment in digital media firm Hungama Digital Media Entertainment. Earlier this year, it led $18.2 million Series B round in Bengaluru-based local language social networking app ShareChat.

In February, the smartphone maker also partnered with Sourav Ganguly-backed short-format video content platform Flickstree. It essentially empowers Xiaomi’s Mi TV with curated short videos from Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, multiple news platforms and many others.

The development was reported by ET.

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