Lokal, an Indian hyperlocal content, community and classified platform, has raised Rs 120 crore ($14.6 milion) in a Series B funding round. The funding was led by investors Global Brain and Sony Innovation Fund, with participation from existing investors India Quotient and others.
The company will use the funds to expand in existing markets, launch new categories and product capabilities and strengthen its product and technology teams. Including the latest funding round, Lokal has raised over Rs 225 crore ($27.5m) in funding overall.
The start-up aims to provide tier II+ users in India with hyperlocal information, such as daily updates, commodity prices, local jobs, real estate, matrimonial, local business advertorials and classifieds that would otherwise be scattered across local newspapers in vernacular languages.
Lokal was launched in 2018 and provides users with local updates and has ten times higher response rates compared to other alternatives for posting local jobs, matrimonials, real estate listings and local ads. It has had over 40 million downloads in just seven Indian states over the past five years. The platform also offers content-led digital marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and brands targeting tier II+ users in India.
The company aims to become a single platform for all tier II+ user needs in India, empowering local communities with the information they need to make informed decisions and improve their lives.
"India has taken big strides in building infrastructure that provides internet connectivity to its citizens. The next step is to enable access to a multitude of productive and context-specific use cases, particularly for Bharat’s local communities in tier II+ cities and in regional languages. Lokal is building that application layer which fully unlocks the true potential for millions of Indians through a hyperlocal platform for content, community, and classifieds, and is already present in over 180 districts of seven states," said
Anjani Bansal, partner and country head at Global Brain Corporation.
Lokal's in-house tech capabilities enable users to find the most relevant local content, classifieds and community updates. With innovation in User Experience (UX) and unique matching algorithms, all the content and classifieds published on the platform are user-generated, providing access to local information in real-time.
The app is currently available in six languages on Google Play Store and the company has 110+ employees with headquarters in Bangalore. The funding will be instrumental in accelerating Lokal's growth and getting it closer to fulfilling its vision of simplifying users' lives by enabling them to use the Internet more meaningfully.