Investors are backing Koo, an Indian alternative to Twitter, with large size checks at a time when tension is brewing between the American social network and New Delhi.
The Indian startup said on Wednesday it has raised $30 million in a financing round led by Tiger Global Management. Mirae Asset, IIFL’s venture capital fund and existing investors 3one4 Capital, Blume Ventures, and Accel also participated in the round, which valued the Bangalore-based startup at over $100 million, up from about $25 million in February.
Like Twitter, Koo app allows users to publish posts in English and half a dozen Indian languages. Its interface, logo, and social sharing mechanism are strikingly similar to those of Twitter.
The app has gained popularity in India in recent months following flare-ups between Twitter and the Indian government after the San Francisco-headquartered firm refused to block accounts that criticized New Delhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.
(The Indian government, like Singapore’s, also ordered Twitter and Facebook last week to take down posts that identified a new variant of the coronavirus as “Indian variant”. Also last week, New Delhi objected to Twitter’s labeling of some of its politicians’ tweets as manipulated media. Earlier this week, police in Delhi visited Twitter offices to “serve a notice.”)