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Lightspeed-Backed Pepper Content Bags $14.3 Mn To Venture Into The US Market

Lightspeed-Backed Pepper Content Bags $14.3 Mn To Venture Into The US Market

The round saw participation from Tanglin Venture Partners, Lightspeed, Titan Capital and angel investors Gokul Rajaram, Ritesh Agarwal and Abhinav Sinha, among others

Pepper Content will infuse money in strengthening its capabilities in graphic designing and translation services

The startup has achieved 16X revenue growth in the last 14 months and clocked an ARR of $8 Mn in the financial year 2021-22

SaaS content marketplace, Pepper Content has raised $14.3 Mn (INR 110 Cr) through equity financing in its ongoing Series A funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

The round saw participation from Tanglin Venture Partners, Lightspeed, Titan Capital and angel investors Gokul Rajaram, Ritesh Agarwal, Abhinav Sinha, Ankur Nagpal, Dheeraj Pandey, Ashish Gupta, and Kunal Shah.

Pepper Content will deploy funds to venture into the US market, expand its offerings, fortify its tech infrastructure and hire talent across verticals. The startup will also infuse money in strengthening its capabilities in graphic designing and translation services. 

The latest development comes after Pepper Content secured $4.5 Mn in its Series A funding round from investors including Lightspeed India, Titan Capital, Beerud Seth from Gupshup and Upwork, Balaji Srinivasan from Coinbase CTO, among others in 2020.

Founded in 2017 by Anirudh Singla and Rishabh Shekhar, the Mumbai-based startup is an enclosed content marketplace that helps connect freelance content creators with organisations. It primarily offers content writing, graphic designing, and translation services to the customers.

Shekhar, cofounder and CEO of Pepper Content said that at present, Pepper Content is offering translation services in over 44 different languages. It is also introducing video creation to its product suite in the next six months.

Explaining the business process, Shekhar said, “If a company comes to Pepper Content and requests to create 5000 content pieces, then we segregate the entire task within freelancers on the basis of their experience and capabilities. Once the freelancers submit their work, it goes through an editor layer where the content pieces are further refined. In the end, they are shared with the customers.”

Besides, Pepper Content also offers in-built artificial intelligence writing assistant named 

Peppertype.ai to the writers. The tool facilitates writers by suggesting a host of small content pieces that are relatable to the subject they are writing about.

Shekhar informed, “Peppertype.ai is one of our fastest growing products. It is currently being used by over 200,000 users. Of this, 80%-90% users are outside of India. The product is also our go-to market strategy to venture into the US market.”  

Pepper Content has a headcount of 170  professionals and also, a wide network of 67,000 freelance content creators. It claims to have worked along with 2500 customers including Adani Enterprises, NPS Trust, Hindustan Unilever, P&G, HDFC Bank, CRED, Groww, among others.

The startup has achieved 16X revenue growth in the last 14 months. Further, it clocked an annual revenue rate (ARR) of $8 Mn in the financial year 2021-22. It is further aiming to double its ARR by the end of this financial year (FY 22-23).

According to a report, the global gig sector was pegged at $2-$3 Mn in 2020. Of this, India accounts for $1 Bn in the global market share. It was also reported that the country’s gig sector is estimated to touch $455 Bn, growing at a CAGR of 17% by 2024. 

The gig sector, particularly blue-collar workers have contributed to the growth of Indian startups.  Homegrown startups such as Zomato, Dunzo, Swiggy and Delhivery heavily rely on gig workers for deliveries, food collection and other allied activities. 

However, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, a vast majority of gig workers migrated to rural areas after losing their jobs. This shift has affected startups thereby, reducing their workforce and diminishing their business operations 

In the previous year, gig worker platform Apna secured $70 Mn in its Series B funding round at a post-money valuation of $570 Mn. 

Additionally, gig worker platform BetterPlace also bagged $24 Mn in its Series C funding round from CX Partners, Jungle Ventures, CDC Group, Capria Ventures, 3One4 Capital, Unitus Ventures, Pivot Ventures, Capria Fund, Catnip Private Limited and Potential Ventures.Quikr, OLX Jobs, Aasaan Jobs, among others. Top companies that hire blue-collar or gig workers include Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, Uber, Urban Company among others.