Hyderabad-based vernacular social media and chat entertainment app Samosa Labs has raised $7 Mn in a fresh funding round said to be led by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and Sequoia Capital India.
The announcement follows Xiaomi’s $18 Mn investment in regional language social platform ShareChat in January tis year.
Founded in 2015 by Abhilash Inumella, Samosa Labs is a chat entertainment platform that enables user-generated audio and gifs that can be shared across other social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. In February, the company started offering video-based content as well.
Samosa Labs has an online integration with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger where a bulk of the videos generated on its platform is shared with several brands and studios looking at the platform as a way to drive traffic and for digital marketing.
Abhilash Inumella, CEO, Samosa Labs said, “About 98% of the traffic on Samosa Labs is driven through chat shares on WhatsApp. About 5,000 videos are created every day by users across genres of romance, comedy, devotion including elements from pop culture such as songs, movies, images, etc.”
Till date, Samosa Labs has raised $9 Mn, including a seed round of about $1.3 Mn led by Sequoia Capital in 2015.
Vernacular Push In Online Content In India
An April 2017, a report titled ‘Indian Languages: Defining India’s Internet’, depicted that India has 234 Mn Indian language users online, compared to 175 Mn English users.
The Indian language internet user base grew at a CAGR of 41% between 2011 and 2016 to reach 234 Mn users at the end of 2016. This impressive growth has resulted in Indian language Internet users surpassing their English counterparts.
The Indian language digital entertainment user base is expected to reach 392 Mn by 2021.
A January 2018 report by Deloitte India predicts that the vernacular content consumers in the country will be 2.5 times that of the English content market by 2021.
While major news and print media publications have always focused on vernacular content, digital media and entertainment platforms are quickly catching up in the space. With the funding boost, Samosa Labs is ready to strengthen its network and portfolio to carve a niche for itself in the upcoming vernacular content revolution.
[The development was reported by ET.]