Lokal Bags Huge Sum In Series B From….

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 Hyperlocal social media platform Lokal has raised Rs 120 crore in its Series B funding round from fresh backers Global Brain and Sony Innovation Fund, India Quotient and other existing investors.

The new funding has come after a gap of 18 months. It had reportedly raised $12 million in a Series A round from Tencent.

Lokal will deploy proceeds towards expansion, launch new categories and product capabilities, and strengthen its product and technology teams, the company said in a press statement.

The five-year-old company raised $3 million from 3one4 Capital, Y Combinator, RB Investments, SOMA Capital. Previously, it received a seed fund from Bharat-focused early-stage VC firm India Quotient in November 2019.

Founded by Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary in 2018, Lokal provides news to vernacular audiences based on their location. It lets users download videos and set WhatsApp status, seek information about employment exam preparation updates and get updates on real estate and commodity prices.

As per Sensor Tower data, Lokal’s Android app has amassed 2.7 million downloads since January 2023 and 13 million in the past 12 months.

Lokal has built a network of stringers and freelance scribes who churn original reporting around the local issues. It also offers content-led digital marketing solutions for SMEs and brands targeting tier II and III towns. According to the company, it is present in more than 180 districts in seven states including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

While Lokal is a five-year-old company, it’s yet to post a sizable revenue. It registered a 3.4X growth in scale to Rs 8.42 crore during FY22 as compared to Rs 2.46 crore in FY21, as per the annual financial statement filed with the RoC. The company’s losses ballooned over 6X to Rs 38.85 crore in FY22 from Rs 5.92 crore in FY21. It’s yet to disclose FY23 financial numbers.

The hyperlocal social media and information space saw a slew of companies in the past five-six years. Elevation Capital-backed Circle, Matrix-funded Awaaz and Local Play tried to crack the vernacular social market but all had shut shops. Lokal’s indirect competition includes InShort’s Public app and Dailyhunt’s PublicVibe among a few others.