koo

Koo, once hailed as desi Twitter-rival, shuts down

koo

Vernacular microblogging platform Koo has shut down its operations as the company failed to find a buyer, according to the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer Apramyea Radhakrishna’s LinkedIn post.

The shut down was inevitable as the company was struggling for traction and follow-on investment. In September 2023, Entrackr exclusively reported that Koo was looking for a merger and acquisition deal as it couldn’t raise a new round.

As per Radhakrishna, Koo explored M&A options with large internet companies, media and conglomerates but nothing materialized.

“While we would’ve liked to keep the app running, the cost of technology services to keep a social media app running is high and we’ve had to take this tough decision,” Radhakrishna wrote in the post.

“In a world where 80% of the population speaks a language other than English, this is a strong need. We wanted to democratize expression and enable a better way to connect people in their local languages. Most global products are dominated by Americans. We believe that India should have a place at the table,” he added.

Koo last raised $6 million in November 2022 co-led by Tiger Global and Accel Partners with the participation of Kalaari Capital, 3one4 Capital, and Dream Incubator (DI).

As per startup data intelligence platform TheKredible, Koo has raised over $50 million to date. In May 2021, the firm raised its largest round worth $30 million. As of the last round, Radhakrishna had 22% stake in the company while Accel and  Tiger Global had 15.8% and 11.8% stake respectively.

Koo came under the spotlight in early 2021 amid Twitter’s tussle with the Indian government. Koo gained instant traction, similar to several other Indian platforms that benefited from the ban on TikTok. The micro-blogging platform had uncanny similarities with Twitter, for instance, a yellow bird as its logo and yellow tick for verified and eminent individuals.

Radhakrishna disclosed that at its peak Koo had about 2.1 million daily active users and ~10 million monthly active users.

“We were just months away from beating Twitter in India in 2022 and could have doubled down on that short term goal with capital behind us,” he claimed. 

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