Pratilipi raises $4.3mn in Series A funding

Bengaluru, February 5, 2018: Nasadiya Technologies’ run self-publishing platform Pratilipi has raised $4.3mn in Series A round of funding led by Omidyar Network with participation from existing investors, Nexus Venture Partners, Atul Goel, Contrarian Capital and Times Internet Limited and new investors Shunwei Capital and WEH Ventures. The company had previously raised $1mn in its seed round in February 2016 led by Nexus Venture Partners. The funds will be used to expand and strengthen the existing team in the areas of product, technology and data science and also for further growth and partnerships.

Incorporated in March 2015, Pratilipi is the largest Indian language self-publishing platform currently operational in 8 Indian languages. Both professional and hobbyist writers can publish their books, stories, essays, etc, on Pratilipi, which is read by millions of their readers. Their android app is one of the highest rated apps in the world at an average rating of 4.8 after over 1 million downloads on Google’s Android Play Store. Over 80 million content pieces have been read on the platform with over 150,000 content pieces published by 22,000+ Authors in 8 Indian Languages – Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. On an average, a daily active user spends 35 minutes a day reading on the platform.

The company has a current team size of 31 people and was started by five co-founders, Sankaranarayanan Devarajan, Rahul Ranjan, Sahradayi Modi, Prashant Gupta and Ranjeet Pratap Singh. All of them hail from smaller towns so they could personally relate to the problem- 90% Indians can only read/write/speak in Indian languages and yet less than 1% of online content is in Indian languages, and decided to build Pratilipi to solve this.

Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Co-founder & CEO, Pratilipi, says, “We started Pratilipi with the vision that language should not be a barrier for people to share their stories with each other. We are really happy and proud that we have been able to find investors who understand the problem we are tackling and believe in the power of stories to connect us together”.

Siddharth Nautiyal, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network, adds, “9 out of 10 of the next half a billion Indians coming online over the next 5 years will be more conversant in their native languages than in English. However, content for these consumers is scarce, as 99% of online content is available in English, despite an immense demand for local language content. Pratilipi has demonstrated steep growth to become the largest destination platform for long format vernacular writing and reading catering to the needs of millions of Indian language internet users. Their success would be crucial in the creation of an engaged community of millions of readers and hundreds of thousands of vernacular writers”.

Sandeep Singhal, Co-founder & MD, Nexus Venture Partners, says, “The Pratilipi team is reimagining vernacular content publishing and consumption and are solving a crying need. We love their maniacal focus on community creation and making authors the center of their universe, and feel privileged to be partnering with them in their mission”.

Pratilipi is making content available, accessible and affordable to millions of Indians in Indian languages and plans to add more languages and content formats later this year.