Lokal is one of India’s foremost vernacular hyperlocal platform which provides local news, jobs, classifieds to more than 900M users who do not speak in English.
It is used by more than 5M people in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. These users are spread across 30 plus districts, 400 plus constituencies and 700 plus villages. Lokal provides local news, information around prices of daily consumer needs like food, petrol and diesel to static information like phone numbers of district officials and doctors.
What stands out is the platform’s reach and its network of reporters who provide content from some of the most far off places unlike traditional media companies. Lokal is just not a news platform. It provides daily updates on jobs, government schemes and even tips to improve personal finance, how to scale higher in career to even finding information about prospective bride’s and grooms.
Lokal is beyond just another digital news and classifieds platform. During COVID19, Lokal’s reach helped users get in touch with local businesses for their daily food and medical needs. Users even used the platform to sell items in remote villages in Tamil Nadu.
This approach has made lokal bigger in terms of reach against traditional media companies. Apart from the massive reporter network, lokal runs an in-house on the app digital reporter training program for anyone who wants to become a reporter with local. This has allowed us to train and create reporters in even villages where there was no one earlier. It gives a chance to people earn money through content.
Apart from the wide network of content classifieds, Lokal has also partnered with brands from across the globe like Plantix, Amazon, Swiggy, rummy Circe, ace2three, Betterplace, Amazon, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, Plantix, Groww, and helped them reach to audiences in rural India and helped market their products better.
Lokal earlier had raised $3M in funding from the likes of 3one4 Capital, Y Combinator, RB Investments, SOMA Capital and existing investor India Quotient. It also backed by stalwarts like Kevin Lin who is the co-founder at Twitch, Xiaomi Indonesia head Alvin Tse, South Korea-based VC firm Starling Ventures, US-based media tech firm XRM Media and tech investment firm I2BF Global Ventures.
It was started in June 2018 by ex IITian’s Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary. What started as a WhatsApp group ended up as a news app and website catering to Tier 3 and beyond.