Bengaluru-based vernacular knowledge sharing startup Manch has raised ₹5 crores in seed funding from Stellaris Venture Partners. The startup plans to use the freshly raised capital to accelerate its user acquisition strategies and invest in product innovation. Sujeet Kumar, co-founder of Udaan and former Flipkart executive also participated in the funding round.
Founded by Pritam Roy and Hari Sunkari last year in 2018, Manch is a community-driven app that allows its users to discuss, ask questions as well as express opinions on various topics like politics, career, relationships and entertainment. The startup is in its early stages with around 10,000 downloads and operating in six languages including Hindi, Tamil and Bengali.
Manch claims to have around 30,000 monthly active users in India. The platform is currently available for text and image formats. However, the startup is planning to soon launch an audio and video format to attract more users on its platform. Video feature will help to increase the user retention time significantly.
Manch competes with Vokal in the knowledge sharing and discussion segment. Bengaluru-based Vokal was founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and focuses on voice. The startup is backed by Kalaari Capital and Blume Ventures and aims to achieve 100 million monthly active users very soon.
The cheap internet and smartphone penetration in India have led to the growth of vernacular startups in the country. Startups like ShareChat, Helo, TikTok, Dailyhunt, Kwai, Bigo Live, NewsDog are some of the prominent players making the vernacular market competitive. All the above startups are strongly backed by various Chinese investors.