Lokal, India’s hyperlocal content, community, and classified platform, announced it has raised INR 120 Cr in Series B funding from new investors Global Brain and Sony Innovation Fund, with participation from India Quotient and other existing investors.
The business will utilise the additional funding to expand in its current markets, introduce new product categories and capabilities, and fortify its product and technology teams. The firm, which has its headquarters in Bangalore and more than 110 people, has raised over INR 225+ Crore in total funding, including the most recent round.
“We are thrilled to receive support from Global Brain and Sony Innovation Fund in addition to existing investors on our board as we redefine how Tier2+ users of India access hyperlocal information. We have achieved profitability in two of the seven states we operate in. Our aim is not only to create a platform that provides significant value to our users, but also to build it in a sustainable manner. This funding round will be instrumental in accelerating our growth and getting us closer to fulfilling our vision of simplifying our users’ lives by enabling them to use the Internet more meaningfully,” said Jani Pasha, Founder and CEO, Lokal.
Launched in 2018, Lokal provides Tier 2+ users of India with hyperlocal information such as daily updates, commodity prices, local jobs, real estate, matrimonial, local business advertorials, and classifieds that would otherwise be scattered across local newspapers in vernacular languages.
With over 40M+ downloads in just seven Indian states over the past five years, Lokal delivers the quickest local updates and has 10x higher response rates in comparison to other alternatives for posting local jobs, matrimonials, real estate listings and local ads. The platform also offers unique content-led digital marketing solutions for Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) and brands targeting Tier 2+ users of India. The company aims to become a single platform for all Tier 2+ user needs in India, empowering local communities with the information they need to make informed decisions and improve their lives.
Lokal has built in-house tech capabilities that enable users to find the most relevant local content, classifieds & community updates. With innovation in User Experience (UX) and unique matching algorithms, all the content and classifieds published on the platform are user-generated providing access to local information in real time.
Sharing his thoughts, Anjani Bansal, Partner and Country Head, Global Brain Corporation said, “India has taken big strides in building infrastructure that provides internet connectivity to its citizens. The next step is to enable access to a multitude of productive and context-specific use cases, particularly for Bharat’s local communities in Tier 2+ cities and in regional languages. Lokal is building that application layer which fully unlocks the true potential for millions of Indians through a hyperlocal platform for content, community and classifieds. It is already present in over 180 districts of 7 states. We are excited to partner with them in this exciting journey.”
“We see a natural growth in the non-English speaking population’s usage of internet-based services, creating the need for alternate social platforms like Lokal. We look forward to supporting the team as they expand across the fast-growing advertising market,” said Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Sony Ventures Corporation.
Founded by Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary, Lokal started as an informative WhatsApp group in Kodad, a small town in the Suryapet district of Telangana. Today, it has become the go-to hub for updates for millions of people in 180+ districts in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The Lokal app is currently available in 6 languages on Google Play Store.
Founded in 2018, Lokal is on a mission to strengthen hyperlocal communities by enabling its mostly non-English users to share, interact and transact in their regional language. Lokal users gain access to hyperlocal information such as daily commodity prices, local jobs, real estate, matrimonial, local business advertorials and classifieds which would otherwise be scattered across local newspapers.
The app is available in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Gujarati and has 40 million+ downloads with a presence in 180+ districts across India. Having achieved unmatched user density in deep tier 2+ locations in India, Lokal has been supported by marquee investors, namely 3one4 Capital, India Quotient, Y Combinator.