A flurry of Indian A-list entrepreneurs buyout Chinese investor Shunwei Capital’s stake in Koo – the microblogging site that’s taking on Twitter

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A flurry of Indian A-list entrepreneurs buyout Chinese investor Shunwei Capital’s stake in Koo – the microblogging site that’s taking on Twitter
Koo app founders Mayank Bidawatka and Aprameya RadhakrishaKoo
  • Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Zerodha founder Nikhil Kamath feature in the list of investors that bought out Shunwei Capital’s stake.
  • Shunwei Capital had held over 9% stake in Bombinate Technologies, the parent company of Vokal and Koo.
  • Koo, the microblogging platform founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, had seen an upsurge in users after the Indian government’s standoff with Twitter.
Bombinate Technologies, the parent company of Vokal and Koo, has shown the door to one of its early investors China’s Shunwei Capital as it rides on the ‘Made in India’ bandwagon.

While the company didn’t release any financial details, it said that Shunwei Capital had held a bit more than 9% in Bombinate Technologies.

With the Indian government’s regulations on Chinese investors and crackdown on Chinese apps in the light of the Indo-China border clash, startups have been conscious. Indian startups that are backed by Chinese investors, have been subject to backlash on social media platforms, which has deviated from their ‘Made in India’ image.

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Chinese investors like Tencent, Alibaba who had so far been major investors in India’s startup ecosystem, are now looking at ways to exit their startup investments in India. The Tata Group’s reported acquisition of Indian grocery startup BigBasket is set to give an exit to one of BigBasket’s early investors – Alibaba.

In Koo’s case, for the buyout of the Chinese investor came along Indian entrepreneurs and leaders of the startup ecosystem. Former Indian cricketer Javagal Srinath, BookMyShow founder Ashish Hemrajani, Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy and Zerodha founder Nikhil Kamath bought out Shunwei Capital’s stake.

Koo, the microblogging platform founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, is available in English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali and Malayalam.

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“As earlier stated, we had been in discussion with Shunwei Capital to enable a smooth exit after it invested in our company 2.5 years ago while we were raising funds for Vokal and have now fully exited the parent company Bombinate Technologies,” said Aprameya Radhakrishna, CEO and Co-founder, Koo in a statement.

In India, the recent standoff between Twitter and the Indian government, which wanted the social media giant to ban certain handles, had come as a boon for Koo.

When Business Insider had spoken with Bidawatka in February 2021, the ecstatic founder had shared that the barely 10-month old app Koo had crossed over 3 million downloads, registering a 10X growth since December, 2020.

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Koo had earlier in February raised $4.1 million as part of its Series A funding recently from 3one4 Capital, Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator.

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