Firstouch, a fully indigenous mobile operating system targeted at enabling the next 500 Mn users to connect to the internet in their native language, has just raised its super angel angel round led by leading technology entrepreneurs and investors, including Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal from Snapdeal, Pranay Chulet from Quikr, Naveen Tiwari and Amit Gupta from Inmobi and Mayank Singhal from Temasek.
Firstouch was founded by Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre and Sudhir Bangarambandi IIT Bombay alumni. It offers a comprehensive platform for the first-time, non-English speaking smartphone user, including not only a local language interface, but a highly simplified user experience, a local language app store and full translation capability. Its vision is to bridge India’s digital divide by bringing millions of rural consumers online.
The company has recently also crossed 1 Mn user mark in just a 100 days.
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It took over three years, for the founders to develop its core product, including building a repository of over two million words across various Indic scripts to be able to offer a fully functional keyboard, autocorrect and suggestions, matra predictions and complete translation and transliteration
In addition to its language functionalities, it also has a thriving developer ecosystem with developers creating mobile apps in many regional languages for the Firstouch App Store (called App Bazaar), which has recorded over 1.5 Mn app downloads since inception.
Besides, the company is also in discussion with a number of strategic partners and businesses that are looking to create a strong reach in to the next 500 Mn internet users that will come online from India’s remote corners and transact via the Firstouch platform.
The company will further look to expand its capabilities across other emerging markets, and recently launched operations in Bangladesh.
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