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Can Koo App become the world’s largest social media platform?

by ideaschedule
Koo App

Many investors including US-based Tiger Global gave a major boost to the Indian microblogging site, the Koo App. The $30-million fundraising has increased Koo’s valuation nearly five times to $100 million. Thus bringing the Koo App on par with the world’s leading social media platform.  This has come after the latest round of tussle between the Government of India and Twitter. https://ideaschedule.com/

About the Koo App

The Koo App was co-founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka. They had previously found companies like MediaAnt and Goodbox. Radhakrishna is the one who had sold his site TaxiForSure, to Ola Cabs. The parent company of the Koo App is Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd. It had launched and is operating Vokal, an Indian version of Quora.

According to the available data, the company had raised Series A funding in 2018. Former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital has also invested in the company. Thereby increasing the long list of investors investing in Bombinate Technologies.

What was the recent tussle with Twitter?

This fundraising has come in the backdrop of Twitter India’s latest clash with the Indian government. This is with regard to the alleged toolkit released by the Congress party that the microblogging site tagged as “manipulated media”. The Delhi Police Special Cell has asked Twitter to substantiate the conclusion on terming the tweet as manipulated media and share with police all the information with regard to the case. Twitter in its defence has stated it has only followed its global policy which states that Twitter “may label tweets that include media that have been deceptively altered or fabricated”. It terms the intimidation tactics by the Delhi Police as a threat to freedom of expression.

How did it come into prominence?

The Koo App was launched in early 2020. Since then it has been quietly functioning. But it came under the limelight when it won the government’s Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge. Additionally, other India-made apps like Zoho and Chingari — the local version of TikTok, won the challenge.

The centre had launched Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge. Moreover, This challenge began after the banning of apps like PUBg, etc. These apps were banned citing their Chinese links and national security concerns. However, This had become a marquee event for the government. All above, It gained such importance that PM Modi announced the results in his Man ki Baat address.

Which prominent personalities are on Koo App?

Many Senior Ministers and celebrities have opened their account in this platform. It includes:

  • Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal,
  • Law & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad,
  • MP Tejasvi Surya and MP Shobha Karandlaje,
  • Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa,
  • Isha Foundation’s Jaggi Vasudev,
  • Former cricketers Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble
  • Celebrities like Kangana Ranaut
  • The Union IT Ministry
  • India Post
  • Niti Aayog
koo app

What are the details of the deal?

In Series B funding Koo has raised $30 million. Existing investors and Tiger Global has led this round of investment. Not only Tiger Global but other new investors IIFL and Mirae Assets have also come on board in this round.

Why is Tiger Global funding Koo App?

Tiger Global has been investing in many unicorn companies. Thereby, making it the leading investors in the Indian startup ecosystem. It has backed around 20 unicorns from India including Flipkart, Razorpay, ola Cred, etc. More recently it seems as if they are investing more in social media platforms. Their latest spending spree in startups include Messaging platform Gupshup, ShareChat etc. Moreover, they are also in talks to fund the Indian social network Kutumb.

Initial controversies clouding the Koo App

Currently, Koo App is one of the most downloaded apps in India. Its user base has increased to around 6 million downloads up from 3 million in February. The Indian government and the many senior leaders of the BJP have also joined it. It was promoted as being made in the India app and fully secure. But these claims were tested in the recent times:

  • According to French security researcher, Robert Baptiste Koo App has exposed users’ personal data. Personal information like email ID, date of birth, name, marital status, and gender of the users have been leaked. Apramkeya has rubbished these claims.
  • Additionally, the Chinese connection to the Koo app gained the spotlight. This was about the small investment in the company by Shunwei. Shunwei is a venture capital fund. It has its connection to Xiaomi. It mostly invests in startups. After this captured headline the company confirmed that Shunwei will soon exit and sells their stocks.
Koo App

What makes Koo different from Twitter?

The entire fiasco between Twitter and Government has only added fuel to the growth of the Koo App. It is growing exponentially with each tussle more so after the Delhi Police raids at the Twitter office. This is in connection with the manipulated tag to Sambit Patra’s tweet. Reportedly, the app downloads and engagements on the platform have surged about five times after the raid. Moreover, it has also seen a strong increase in user base over the past few months amid the government’s push for Atmanirbhar Bharat. The government wants to expand the ecosystem of homegrown digital platforms.

Recently, Koo has adopted the guidelines of the new IT rules of the Indian government. Social media giants like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter have concerns with the new guidelines. Hence, these giants have not yet adopted it. This makes Koo with close to 60 lakh users one of the major social platforms to follow the guidelines.

The company is also working on increasing the technical aspects. It is addressing privacy concerns and making an all-around effort to increase the user experience. Koo also offers to post in Indian languages other than English this includes – Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, and Kannada, Telugu etc. The post in Koo is arranged in chronological order that is with respect to the time of posting which is better than the Twitter model. Twitter keeps the popular posts at the top of the feed. Finally, the feed-in Koo is divided into two sections, ‘feed’ and ‘people’. From the feed section, the users can check the posts by the people. From the ‘People’ section, the users can straightway check what famous personality are posting in their feed.


According to the latest data from the IT Ministry, As of February 2021, India had 530 million WhatsApp users, 448 million YouTube users, 410 million Facebook users, 210 million Instagram users, and 17.5 million Twitter users. This number is big and forms a huge chunk of their users. If Data is the new gold these giants have no dearth of it. These giants have also faced privacy concerns once in while.

The resurgence of Koo App is good news in many aspects. Even though we have huge pool of talent in IT sector we have lagged behind in setting up a world class social platform. If TikToK, with Chinese backers has given these giants run for the why can’t we.

The monopoly of anything is bad. Social media platforms have become the norm in our lives. So by signing in to the platform you are bound to share your data and a lot more. These giants alone should not have a monopoly on data. Similarly, for Koo, it may be an Indian App but it also should not have the monopoly of Indians data. These apps should coexist so that we as users can decide what to use and what not to.

Till then best wishes to the Koo app. The founder had said in an interview, “We have aggressive plans to grow into one of the world’s largest social media platforms in the next few years.” Hope it becomes a reality.

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