Homegrown short video apps have been receiving unprecedented attention since TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps got banned last month by the Indian government. Amidst witnessing hockey stick growth in terms of downloads and engagement, they are also attracting enough interest from venture capitals and individual investors.
After raising Rs 2 crore in seed capital, Mitron has raked in more capital in what appears to be a Pre-Series A round, according to three sources aware of the fundraising. “Nexus Venture Partners has led the round with the participation of existing backers,” said one of the sources, requesting anonymity.
Entrackr couldn’t ascertain the participation of any new investors in this round. “The financing is in the range of $1.5-2 million but it could go up to $3 million if the company gets fresh backers,” said the above-quoted person.
Doubling down of investors in India comes at a time Silicon Valley biggies including former Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji S. Srinivasan and founder of AngelList Naval Ravikant have been showing interest in funding Indian startups that could come up with replacements for the banned apps.
Meanwhile, former Commonfloor co-founder Sumit Jain and Citrus famed Amrish Rau put in seed capital in Mitron. Jain picked up 196 seed CCPS along with an equity share for an investment of Rs 10,01,745, shows regulatory filings. Rau acquired 74 convertible debentures by pouring Rs 5,05,420 in Mitron TV.
Chingari, another short video app that claimed to cross 15 million downloads, is also in advanced conversations to raise up to $1.5 million at a valuation of about $10 million. “AngelList is leading a syndicate for Chingari. About $400-500k is already committed by over half a dozen individual investors,” said the second source.
The fresh proceeds for both companies come as they have been adding millions of downloads every week. Last week, Mitron claimed to cross 25 million downloads whereas Chingari seems to be catching on fast with over 15 million downloads on Play Store.
Entrackr’s queries sent to Nexus, Mitron, Chingari and AngelList didn’t elicit any immediate response. We will update the story as and when they respond.
India emerged as a lush green farm for desi companies after the government banned China-linked 59 apps. Since Chinese companies aren’t allowed to graze in the world’s largest download farm anymore, it opens up a large opportunity for companies such as Roposo, Chingari, Trell, Mitron, TikTik, MX TakaTak and Moj among others.
These companies have a chance to amass hundreds of millions of users, but they also need to focus on developing technology and execution that can set them to stand against tech behemoth ByteDance. Entrackr sources have been emphasising that TikTok is trying hard to get back in India. The question that continues to loom over the new apps is: what happens to them if and when India’s government allows TikTok to make a comeback?