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Koo, India’s microblogging platform, to shut down

Koo, India’s microblogging platform, to shut down

India's microblogging

Koo, India’s homegrown microblogging platform, is shutting down its services.

The announcement was made by the company’s co-founders, Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, in a LinkedIn post on July 3, 2024. The startup, which had positioned itself as an alternative to X (formerly known as Twitter), gained prominence in 2021 when several Indian ministers and government officials migrated to the platform amid a row between the Indian government and X over content moderation.

Despite its initial success and backing from investors such as Tiger Global, Accel, and Kalaari Capital, Koo struggled to secure funding in recent years. The company explored partnerships with larger internet companies, conglomerates, and media houses, but the talks did not yield the desired outcome. Bidawatka explained that most potential partners were hesitant to deal with user-generated content and the unpredictable nature of a social media company.

Koo shuts down amidst financial struggles

Some media partners also changed their priorities close to signing a deal. The high cost of technology services required to maintain the platform also contributed to the decision to cease operations.

In September 2022, Koo had to lay off 40 employees, and in April 2023, it further reduced its workforce by 30% due to funding issues. At its peak in July 2022, Koo had 94 lakh monthly users, coinciding with X’s legal battle with the Indian government. However, by April 2023, the number of active users on the app had dropped to 31 lakh.

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The closure of Koo marks the end of an ambitious attempt to create a localized social media platform in India. The startup had raised $65 million (around ₹543 crores) from investors but ultimately could not sustain its operations in the face of competition from established players like X and the challenges of securing long-term funding.

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