Update | 17:35, December 14, 2019
Speaking to Inc42, Trell has said that this funding is a part of a $4 Mn funding round.
Bengaluru-based video-first experience discovery platform Trell has raised $2 Mn (INR 14.8 Cr) in Pre-Series A round led by Ruizheng Investment at $19 Mn valuation. Other investors who participated in the round include KTBN Venture, Sprout Venture Partners, AH Projects, and its existing investors Beenext2 and WEH Ventures.
Additionally, the list of angel investors include managing director and head of Fosun RZ Capital India, Tej Kapoor, executive director of RZ Capital, Krinshavataram Venkata Vinjamuri, cofounder of Fynd, Harsh Shah, investor Prabhakar MR.
Nitin Gupta, Varun Lal, Bimal Kumar Ranjit Naik, Vikram Bose, Bharath Chadha, Ramakanth Sharma, and Shashank Singh also invested in their own personal capacities. Prior to this funding, Trell has raised $1.25 Mn from Beenext and WEH Ventures in July last year.
According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings accessed by Inc42, Trell has issued 20987 shares to Ruizheng Investment (BVI) Limited for a total of INR 10.55 Cr ($1.4 Mn) at INR 5005 per share.
Founded in August 2017 by a team of IIT Bombay alumni Pulkit Agrawal, Prashant Sachan, Arun Lodhi, and NITIE alumnus Bimal Kartheek Rebba, Sequoia Surge startup Trell is a community-based platform enabling lifestyle discovery through video-based content in various Indian languages. It enables people to create visual collections of their travel and local experiences and share it as a classic slideshow video or copyrighted-images on other platforms.
Additionally, users explore Trell to discover experiences through other people with similar interests, preferences, and personality type. Trell defies categorisation as a ‘travel’ or ‘local experiences’ sharing platform as its users share stories of experiences ranging from a cafe in their neighbourhood or a weekend getaway to a planned trip to a far-off destination.
Notably, the content on Trell has a strong storytelling element, which makes it more contextual and immersive, and helps in differentiating from its competitors such as TikTok, Like, Vmate, among others.
In the short video app segment, TikTok, with more than 200 Mn users, is clearly dominating the Indian market. However, other apps are also raising funds to give TikTok a run in the country.
Recently, short-video sharing app VMate has received $100Mn from Alibaba to increase its foothold in the Indian market. US-based Firework is also planning to invest around $20 Mn to make its way in the Indian market and increase its user base during its first leg of expansion in the country.