Report on Shemaroo

Chinese investor exits from homegrown Koo's parent firm

The app is gaining tremendous traction amid the government's row with Twitter.


NEW DELHI: The Chinese investor in the parent firm of Koo, the homegrown app which has gained immediate prominence in the country, is on its way out, said Koo's founder and chief executive officer Aprameya Radhakrishna.

The app was one of the winners of the MyGov Atmanirbhar app challenge conducted last year. Over the last six months, Koo has crossed the milestone of three million app downloads. However, it rose to fame only recently, after the government's tussle with Twitter intensified over the removal of certain tweets and accounts. The app is now being widely endorsed by the government and its various ministries and several influential personalities.

It is also available in several Indian languages including Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Marathi and is trying to pitch itself as India's alternative to the popular microblogging site, Twitter.

Apart from Accel Partners, 3one4 Capital, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures, Chinese global venture capital firm, Shunwei is also one of the investors in Koo's parent firm, Bombinate Technologies. However, Radhakrishna told PTI, that since Bombinate has pivoted its primary business and focuses on Koo, Shunwei has committed to exiting the company.

"The latest round of investment ($4.1 million in Bombinate) was led by 3one4 Capital and Shunwei has not participated. We actually made sure that there is no more participation from Chinese investors," PTI quoted him saying. Radhakrishna has routinely stressed that Koo is an India registered company, with Indian founders, especially in the wake of increasing restrictions on Chinese investors in the country post the stand-off with the People’s Liberation Army in Ladakh.

Chinese apps have also started losing dominance in India after as many as 200 apps were banned by the Centre last year. According to a recent report by analytics firm Appsflyer, the market share of Chinese apps has plummeted to 29 per cent in 2020 from 38 per cent in 2019, while Indian companies are taking a larger share year-on-year.

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