China VC fund Shunwei Cap to exit Koo owner Bombinate Tech

Our Bureau. Bengaluru | Updated on February 11, 2021

Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Kalaari, and others to buy Shunwei stake

China-based VC fund, Shunwei Capital, will completely exit Bombinate Technologies, which owns Koo, an Indian micro-blogging platform.

A statement from the company said existing investors, including 3one4 Capital, Kalaari, and others will be buying Shunwei’s stake. Shunwei Capital is a Chinese venture capital fund focussed primarily on early- to mid-stage investments in the internet industry. The statement went on to say that Koo is a fully Aatmanirbhar app with Indian founders and India registration.

“Two-and-a-half years ago, Shunwei, which had invested in the company for the earlier product Vokal, which answers user questions in Indian languages, will be exiting fully with the new investors buying their stake. Existing investors, including 3one4 Capital, Kalaari and others, will also be buying out some of the stakes,” said Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder and CEO of Koo.

Garners huge interest

Post its $4.1-million Series A fundraiser earlier this month, Koo, India’s answer to the popular microblogging app Twitter, is garnering huge interest from Indian investors. The Series A fund-raise in Bombinate Technologies was led by 3one4 Capital, an Indian investor. “Shunwei had not participated in the latest round of funding,” said Radhakrishna.

Ashish Hemrajani from BookMyShow, Vivekananda from Bounce and Nikhil Kamat from Zerodha are among the many others Indian entrepreneurs who are keen on investing in Koo, an indication that the company is getting more Indian money into its fold.

Koo has grown phenomenally crossing 3 million users, thanks to prominent Indians switching over to the Indian micro-blogging site. Actors and other celebrities are learnt to have deleted their Twitter accounts and are moving to Koo as an act of solidarity with the Indian Government as Twitter did not fully comply with the government’s request to ban certain Twitter accounts. As a consequence, Koo has crossed 3 million users as of today, downloads increased 20 times in the last two days, and web traffic has increased by 50 times in the last 2 days.

However, French cybersecurity researcher Robert Baptiste, popularly known as Elliott Anderson, pointed out on Twitter that Koo is leaking the personal data of its users, including email, date of birth, name, marital status and gender. Denying this, Radhakrishna tweeted that the data visible is something that the user has voluntarily shown on their profile of Koo. It cannot be termed a data leak. If you visit a user profile you can see it anyway, he said.

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Published on February 11, 2021
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