Bengaluru: Manch, a regional language discussion platform, raised $700,000 in seed funding round from Stellaris Venture Partners and other investors, according to a statement released by the company.

Ex-Flipkart executive and co-founder of Udaan Sujeet Kumar is one of the investors participating in the seed round, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), which were sourced from business intelligence platform Paper.vc. Kumar’s company Udaan, a marketplace for manufacturers and wholesaler, raised $225 million in September, valuing the company at an eye-popping $1 billion, a fourfold increase in its valuation in six months.

A major chunk of Manch’s seed round will be used towards building technology, product team and acquiring users, according to the statement.

Last year, many vernacular apps attracted investors’ attention and money. These Internet companies have the potential to attract the first time Internet users from tier-2 and tier-3 cities opening up a new demographics apart from the urban areas. ShareChat (Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd.) raised $100 million in Series-C funding round, which is one of the largest fund raise in the vernacular content space.

Founded in March 2018 by Pritam Roy, Manch is a discussion platform where people ask questions and express their opinions on topics including politics, personal relationships and career advice. The platform currently has more than 10, 000 downloads, according to data on Google’s Playstore.

“I was travelling to villages across the country last summer and participated in evening Panchayats with locals. People living in small town and cities mostly seek news and content relevant to their interest and actively engage in discussions around these topics in their local groups," said Roy in the statement. “While the consumption need is being fulfilled by various global and local platforms, there is a need for a medium where people can express their opinion on everyday news and events and can explore content mapped to their interest in their own language," he added.

The company claims to have more than 30,000 monthly active users. Currently, only operating in the text and image format the app will also provide video and audio formats to encourage discussion among its users.

Chinese venture capital (VC) firm Shunwei Capital and Omidyar Network, and early stage VC firm India Quotient are leading the charge to fund content start-ups.

Manch competes with the likes of Vokal, a voice-based discussion platform, co-founded by Aprameya R, who founded TaxiForSure . Vokal is backed by Kalaari Capital, Shunwei Capital, Accel Partners, and Blume Ventures.

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