Bengaluru: Bengaluru-based Indian language knowledge sharing community Bolo has raised ₹3 crore in seed funding led by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from Unacademy founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh, Growth Story founders Ganesh Krishnan and Srinivas Anumolu and Newsdog founder Chen Yukun. The corpus raised will be used by the company to strengthen its teams across product, technology and operations.
Bolo is a knowledge sharing community that allows users to ask and answer questions in Hindi. The answers are in the form of short videos of less than one minute each. Additionally, users can directly video call with experts on the platform for a small fee to get highly personalised solutions to their problems. The app is currently available in Hindi language and the most popular categories on the app are beauty and fashion, fitness, cooking and career counselling.
The vernacular platform was launched in July 2018 by Nishant Chandra and Siddharth Maheshwari. Chandra worked with Unacademy in senior roles in product and growth functions. Maheshwari founded Flicksup - an AI based content discovery platform.
“We believe India is at an inflection point due to the rapid adoption of internet and payment infrastructure. We aim to enable knowledge sharing among Indians coming online for the first time in a format they prefer and the language that they’re comfortable with," says Chandra.
“We continue to be bullish on Indian language consumption story. We saw a shift in the behaviour pattern that people were searching on YouTube for information as some would on Google, and now looking for information in video format which is trustworthy and easy to consume - but there is lack of supply of structured content and discoverability is a problem," says Pratik Poddar, vice president at Nexus Venture Partners.
Bolo recently launched a feature where people can consult experts over video calls. “This will allow us to onboard the topmost experts on our platform because this provides them an avenue to generate income. They in turn are creating high quality, long shelf life content on the platform driving engagement further. We are finding that Indians are highly aspirational and willing to pay to get personalised solutions to their problems", says Maheshwari, co-founder, Bolo.
400 million Indians have come on to the internet over the last 4 years. More than 75% of the total users will be Indian language users by 2021. Apps focussing on utility, entertainment and news already serve millions of people and knowledge sharing communities like Bolo are rising rapidly as people start looking for information.