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Twitter cofounder Biz Stone has invested undisclosed amount in the Bangalore-based startup Hatchery Software Pvt Ltd, which runs Lookup. The startup had previously closed $382K in seed funding led by DeNA Co, Teruhide Sato, MKS Switzerland SA, and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan.

The Lookup app allows local businesses to acquire and connect with customers over a chat. The app basically allows customers to chat securely with local store owners without having to disclose your mobile number to them.

This is Series A round of funding for Lookup in which it is raising $3 Mn, the other investors are yet to be announced.

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Lookup app is founded by Deepak Ravindran, co-founder and former CEO of SMS-based search engine services startup Innoz Technologies.

Deepak in a blogpost says,

Persistence and hard work can turn an idea into a phenomenon. Every entrepreneur’s first inspiration is drawn from phenomenons like Twitter, Facebook, Apple and such innovational enormities. Through my journey from Innoz to Lookup, I have followed that ideal.  Entrepreneurship is not just a tag or a title but it is the way of my life.

I am excited to build and nurture a strong relationship with Biz. His prodigious ventures are simply phenomenal. He is the co-founder of Twitter, GQ’s Nerd of the Year and one of the friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. He is one of those rarities who believe that “You can be successful and also be nice at the same time”, as his book Things A Little Bird Told Me is about.

I am extremely thrilled that he is personally investing in our Series A round. It is almost surreal. His beliefs and ideals are very fascinating and I am glad that someone so altruistic and with such a genuine moral compass is a mentor and advisor to me and my company.

Within the first 5 months following the launch of Lookup, the startup has managed to receive over 200,000 downloads.

Highlights include:

  • Listed as an Essential App list in Google Play.
  • Listed as a Top free app in the communication category on Google Play.
  • Onboarding of over 10,000 verified merchants
  • Over 3 Mn messages exchanged per month
  • Over 100,000 leads generated to local businesses
  • Expanding into other networks including SMS and WhatsApp

“Competing is to try my hardest to make an awesome product that people think is valuable so they tell everyone about it.” Biz Stone said.

Previously, Lookup had also acqui-hired RecommerceHub, a startup that sold refurbished electronic devices and has also roped in Anup Mohan, co-founder of Flamingos Media last year.

Recently, Lookup has partnered with food tech startup, Freshworld to deliver fruits and vegetables to their customers for free. Few months back, it also joined hands with Bangalore Police to help people connect with the police in case of emergencies.

In this space, Mumbai-based Haptik has also closed $1 Mn in funding from Kalaari Capital in November last year. Just yesterday, Akosha which also runs an messaging app for brands and customers bagged $16 Mn in funding.

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