Indian Social Media Platform Koo Ceases Operations After Failed Funding Deal


Indian social media platform Koo, which aimed to rival Elon Musk’s X, has announced that it will cease operations after failing to secure a deal with Dailyhunt, an internet media startup valued at $5 billion. Despite securing over $60 million in funding from prominent investors, Koo struggled to expand its user base and generate revenue over the past two years.

Koo’s founders, Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, revealed in a LinkedIn post that they had explored partnerships with multiple larger internet companies, conglomerates, and media houses, but these talks failed to yield a deal. The founders cited the unwillingness of these companies to deal with user-generated content and the unpredictable nature of a social media company as reasons for the collapse of the talks.

Koo initially gained popularity in India during a period of tension between Twitter and the Indian government, after Twitter challenged the government’s opaque requests for content removal. The platform positioned itself as a more compliant alternative, pledging to adhere to local regulations, and attracted numerous high-profile Indian politicians, mostly from the ruling party. The startup also expanded its app to Brazil.

However, Koo’s prolonged funding winter, which forced startups globally to scale their revenue and improve their finances, ultimately proved too challenging for the company. The failure of Koo is the latest example of Indian entrepreneurs and investors struggling to create homegrown alternatives to popular American platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and YouTube.

Manish Singh
Manish Singh
Senior Reporter. Manish covers India’s startup scene and venture capital investments. He also reports on global tech firms’ India play. Previously, Singh wrote for about a dozen publications, including CNBC and VentureBeat. He graduated in Computer Science and Engineering in 2015.

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