Finally! Social networking for Hindi speakers is on its way. ShabdaNagari, a brand new social portal out of Kanpur, has recently raised an impressive funding of $200,000, with participation from the Kanpur Angels.
Launched in January 2015 by IIT Mumbai alumni Amitesh Mishra along with Kaplnesh Gupta and Nikhil Tiwari, the portal has gleaned a fair amount of popularity in the virtual space. The website already has a community of over 20 thousand registered users, 150 thousand unique visits and 6 lakh page visits with over 100 articles being published on the site every single day.
Interestingly, the company is incubated in IIT Kanpur and was being mentored by Gopal Sutwala, President of Kanpur Angels since the last one year.
As per Kalpnesh Gupta, Co-founder, ShabdaNagari,
With ShabdaNagari, we want to bring together Hindi speakers online where they can connected with like minded people and express their thoughts in their language. In the online space today.
Adding that the website would also serve to ensure that Hindi is accorded its rightful place in the online world, and one in tandem with its offline popularity.
Hindi doesn’t feature in even top 10 languages despite being one of most popular languages. We have a goal of bridging this digital divide. The angel investment will give us the boost and confidence to grow ShabdaNagari into one of the largest social networking platform in the country.
Interestingly, the investment is also a first for the Kanpur Angels which were formed with an eye towards ensuring that entrepreneurs from small towns were saved from the necessity of shifting to metros, just to raise funds. The fact that they have chosen ShabdaNagari to make their debut speaks volumes about their confidence in the startup and its founders.
Elaborating on the participation of Kanpur Angels in the venture, Rakesh Suri, Promoter, Kanpur Angels and investor, ShabdaNagari, said
We believe that ShabdaNagari is addressing a clear gap which exists in the online space today. With an increasing smartphone penetration in the hinterland, there is a demand for new and original local language content on the Internet. Currently, many large companies are working towards ensuring that the next 100 million users on the Internet should be able to engage in their local language. We believe ShabdaNagari is equipped to facilitate that with their vision to create a Hindi Internet platform.
Well, with the 2001 census reporting a staggering 258 million people as native Hindi speakers in India alone, it is hard to think up of a more suitable alternative for this venture. And that is not even taking into account Hindi speakers abroad, or even dialects that deploy the same script for writing and thus could potentially use the platform in the future.
ShabdaNagari already has a fully featured mobile app available on Android platforms in addition to its website. The company plans to use the funds it has raised to expand genres on its website site and upgrade the user interface and its list of goal for the near future includes the company aims to reach a greater audience, provide native mobile applications and create a marketplace for vernacular books on the portal.