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What is the Koo app and see why government officials are joining it

Indian micro-blogging platform called Koo was launched by Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as functions just as Twitter does, but Koo provides users with the option of writing text in several Indian languages.

Koo was one of the winners of a competition that was launched by the Union ministry of electronics and information technology in July last year to find alternatives to Chinese apps. Koo had won under the “social” category along with two other apps. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned Koo while announcing the winners on his Mann Ki Baat radio address in August. However, the app didn’t quite make it big until now. Modi, though, is yet to join Koo and remains active on Twitter.

Today, commerce minister Piyush Goyal, law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, environment minister Prakash Javadekar, Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, member of parliament Tejasvi Surya and BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya are among some of the popular politicians who have joined the platform. Several government departments, like the ministry of electronics, ministry of railways, India Post, MyGovIndia, Digital India and NITI Aayog, too, are on Koo. Some media houses, like PIB India, OTV News, NewsX TV, Republic TV have also joined.

In February, Koo had achieved another major milestone. It raised $4.1 million from a clutch of investors, including from an entity backed by former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai. Koo’s existing investors include Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator. A Chinese company, Shunwei Capital, which had invested in another venture by the same company that now runs Koo will be exiting fully, Koo’s co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna tweeted.

Koo was founded in March 2020 by Radhakrishna and Bidawatka, MBA graduates, who had both invested in multiple companies before launching Koo. Radhakrishna had founded TaxiForSure, an aggregator of car rentals and taxis, in 2010. He had sold it to Ola Cabs in 2015. Bidawatka had co-founded Vokal India, an app that operates much the same way that popular question and answer platform, Quora, does. Vokal allows users to communicate in vernacular languages.

Koo being available in several Indian languages is one of its selling points. Its tagline is “to connect with Indians in Indian languages”.


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