Months after raising seed capital, ShabdaNagari, a social media network that caters to the Hindi content consuming audience, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a “bridge round” from ah! Ventures.
The investors, who invested the amount on behalf of ah! Ventures include Yogesh Chaudhary from Jaipur Rugs, Anirudh Damani from Artha Energy Project, Abhimanyu Singh from TaskUs, among others. This new fund will provide a much needed boost to the company — one which is badly needed if it wishes to stand a chance in a domain of this intense dominancy. It is planning to utilize the funds mainly for its product development, marketing and promotional activities.
Founded in January 2015 by Amitesh Misra, Nikhil Tiwari and Amaresh Chandra Misra, ShabdaNagari effectively offers a social media platform, carved to, specifically cater to the Hindi speaking audience of today.
Commenting on his startup, Co-Founder Amitesh Misra says,
ShabdaNagari is the first platform on internet that offers social media services in Hindi. Competition in this space is scarce and still catching up. ShabdaNagari has a number of benefits on ease of access and usability. Availability of 5 different input options for typing Hindi on the platform is the one of the biggest advantages on ShabdaNagari over others.
While a “Hindi” social network might not appeal to many, Shabdanagari’s conversion of English text to Hindi, phonetically, is something which personally attracted me the most. It is remarkably and surprisingly accurate and easily identifies almost exactly what you wish to type.
Harshad Lahoti, founder and CEO of ah! Ventures said,
The team’s thorough understanding of the Hindi speaking market and their innovative solutions to the various requirements make them stand apart. The positive results we have witnessed in the last one year makes us confident that ShabdaNagari is soon to be the biggest player this niche category.
According to reports, of the 66 crore Hindi speaking individuals in India, only 5% to 10% are comfortable with English language. And while the company aims to bridge the gap and connect this audience to utilize the bubbling potential in the vernacular market of India, it is going to be more than just an uphill task to covince people to post content in Hindi (considering how difficult it is to write) and maintain their entire online social life in this particular language.
Earlier, the company had raised $200,000 in its seed funding round from Kanpur Angels. Using the funds, the company expanded its team, which currently has 25 members. It recently included 2 new promoters – Kalpnesh Gupta and Gopal Sutwala, who are handling marketing activities.
The platform claims to have received more than 2 lakh unique hits and 8 lakh page views with “high downloads” of the ShabdaNagari Android App launched last September.
And while the founders claim “high dowloads” on the App, Play Store’s official stats show, that Shabdanagari’s app downloads stand between 50 to 100 installs, with even lesser number of active installs.