Lokal, a hyperlocal content, community, and classified platform specializing in regional languages, has raised $14.6 million from new investors, including Tokyo-based venture capital firms Global Brain and Sony Innovation Fund.
The company will utilize the additional funding to expand its current markets, introduce new product categories and capabilities, and fortify its product and technology teams. The firm has received around $27.5 million in total funding, including this round.
Lokal gives consumers access to hyperlocal information, daily updates, commodity pricing, local jobs, real estate, matrimonial, local business advertorials, and classifieds in tier II and III cities.
The most pertinent local news, classifieds, and community updates may be found by users thanks to Lokal’s in-house developed technological capabilities. All the content and classifieds published on the platform are user-generated, offering access to real-time local information thanks to user experience (UX) innovation and distinctive matching algorithms.
“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,” said Jani Pasha, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lokal.
Through a hyperlocal platform, Lokal is developing the application layer that will fully unleash the genuine potential of millions of Indians. Over 180 districts in seven states are already using it. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Gujarat are now where Lokal is in use.
“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 regional languages,” said Anjani Bansal, Partner and Country Head of Global Brain Corporation.
Lokal aims to become a single platform for all Tier 2+ user needs in India
Lokal was established in 2018 by Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary. It began as an educational WhatsApp group in the Telangana town of Kodad, part of the Suryapet district.
Hyperlocal information such as daily updates, commodity prices, local jobs, real estate, matrimony, local company advertorials, and classifieds that would otherwise be dispersed throughout local newspapers in vernacular languages are available to Tier 2+ customers of Lokal in India.
Over the past five years, Lokal has received over 40 million downloads in seven Indian states. It offers the quickest local updates and has 10x greater response rates than competing services for publishing local employment, matrimonials, real estate listings, and local adverts.
“We observe a natural increase in the population’s use of web-based services, necessitating the necessity for alternative social platforms like Lokal. We look forward to assisting the team as they broaden their reach across the quickly expanding advertising market,” said Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Sony Ventures Corporation.
Two of the seven states the company operates in have had financial success. Lokal aims to provide a platform that offers considerable value to its users while being built sustainably.
According to Jani Pasha, this fundraising round will be crucial in speeding our growth and bringing us one step closer to realizing our mission of making the lives of our customers easier by letting them use the Internet more effectively.
The platform additionally provides distinctive content-driven digital marketing options for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and brands aiming at Tier 2+ Indian users.
The startup wants to unite all Tier 2+ user demands in India onto one platform, arming local communities with the knowledge they require to make better decisions and live better lives.