Location-based social network app Public has raised $35 Mn from venture capitalist Lee Fixel’s Addition, SIG Global and Tanglin Venture Partners.
Public, which was launched in April 2019, is owned by news aggregator app Inshorts.
The funding by Addition marks the first investment in an Indian startup by Lee Fixel, which launched the $1.3 Bn venture capital firm earlier this year.
Fixel, a prolific investor in Indian startups, left New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global last year. Tiger Global, advised by Fixel, was one of the most active investors in India consumer internet companies, making early bets in Flipkart, Ola and Quikr.
Launched in 2019, Public enables people to record and share happenings around them and provide real-time local updates, happenings in local commerce, jobs, classifieds and more. The app is available in Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Assamese, Gujarati and Marathi.
It claims to have around 50 Mn active users, with one million videos being created every month.
“We are thrilled to have this support from Addition, SIG Global and Tanglin Venture Partners in our journey towards building the world’s largest location based social network,” said Azhar Iqubal, Inshorts cofounder and founder & CEO, Public App.
The company plans to utilise the funding towards rapid scaling up of tech infrastructure, content offerings and employee base to further speed up the growth and continue improving on retention and engagement.
Founded in 2013, the Noida-based startup rechristened itself as Inshorts from its earlier name News in Shorts. The startup was founded by three IIT dropout’s Azhar Iqubal, Deepit Purkayastha and Anunay Arunav.
The short video segment in India is currently going through a churn after the government banned hugely popular app TikTok. Public will compete with short video platforms like MX TakaTak, Moj (ShareChat), Josh (DailyHunt), Chingari, Roposo, Zili and Dubsmash.
Tiger Global Investments In India
Tiger Global has invested in diverse portfolios ranging from agritech investment to include home services, fintech, edtech and more.
In 2019, Tiger Global has participated in the $67 Mn Series B funding round of a Bengaluru-based digital application provider for micro-merchants OkCredit. Prior to this, Kunal Shah’s fintech venture Cred has also raised $120 Mn from Tiger Global and others.
Another fintech company, INDwealth also raised $15 Mn in a funding round from the investment firm in August. Further, in May, the New-York based investment firm has invested $22 Mn in a logistics company Locus.
A SaaS startup Zenoti has also raised a $50 Mn investment from Tiger Global. Also, agritech startup NinjaCart raised about $100 Mn funding round led by an American investment firm.