Tuesday, January 25, 2022
BusinessLokal to expand footprint pan-India

Lokal to expand footprint pan-India

Published: 30th Nov 2021 4:52 pm

Hyderabad: Lokal, a hyperlocal social media platform, which empowers non-English speakers of tier 2/3 cities of India with digital growth opportunities, information exchange and community building, is set to expand its operations pan-India. Started as an informative WhatsApp group in Kodad, Suryapet district of Telangana, the social platform has today spread its presence all over south and just entered Maharashtra.

- Advertisement -

As more Indians in non-metro cities adopted a digital-first approach through Lokal, the company’s revenues have grown tenfold over the last one year. The platform has been growing 30 per cent month-on-month, with over 10 million downloads. It is today operational in over 150 districts across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

Lokal co-founder Jani Pasha told Telangana Today, “We are working towards a vision to become one platform for all of regional India’s needs. Our platform is used by people for social updates and information. We are also collaborating with local businesses, SMEs, and local brands to offer them visibility and to enable buying and selling through our platform. We are making the platform personalised through our community moderators.”

Founded in 2018, Lokal offers the district level density of users, given its focus on smaller geographical areas. It enables its users to share, interact, and transact in their native language. Ranging from vegetable prices, agriculture forecasts, job listing, matrimony, education, skilling/training, classified ads and real estate coupled with community level interactions, the platform serves the needs of rural India.

He added, “We have raised about $15 million so far. We plan to enter more States in India. Lokal is also planning to hire a staff of 100 plus to strengthen the product and technology team.” The app is currently available in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, and Marathi. The company is supported by 3one4 Capital, India Quotient and Y Combinator.

Impacting rural base

Lokal recognised that although India is pacing towards digitisation, the internet penetration in rural India stands at only 33 per cent whereas the urban users capture 67 per cent. Research showed over 500 million internet users still use the internet for only communications and entertainment purposes, they do not use it to its fullest for e-commerce, education, research, or growth opportunities.

A major reason spotted was the language barrier, most of the content was in English and India being a diverse country, where language and culture change every 100 kms, the tier 2, 3, 4 users have never travelled beyond that range. There was a huge gap for these next billion internet users to unlock the true benefits of digitalisation. Lokal was launched to address these challenges of rural India.

On future expansion, he added, “We recently raised our funding. But we are still open to talk to potential investors for the capital that we would require for us to expand our operations across the country and make the platform more robust and useful for the audience staying at regional locations.”

In April 2020, Forbes featured Lokal founders Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary in its 30 Under 30 – Asia – Media, Marketing & Advertising list of young innovators. In November 2020, the company was featured in Nasscom Emerge 50 awards 2020 under the Bharat category as Trusted Hyperlocal Communities for non-English speaking users of India.

Also Read

- Advertisement -

Latest News

- Advertisement -