Koo (social network)

(Redirected from Koo App)

Koo is an Indian microblogging and social networking service, based in Bengaluru, India.[3][4][5] As of November 2022, the company is valued at over $275 million.[6] The microblogging site was co-founded by entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka. While the app was launched in early 2020, its participation and the subsequent winning of the government's Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge which selected the best apps from some 7000 entries across the country.[7]

Koo
Koo.svg
Official logo
Screenshot
Koo (app) screenshot.png
Koo's homepage on desktop version
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Available inMultilingual
Founded14 November 2019; 3 years ago (14 November 2019)
HeadquartersBengaluru, Karnataka, India
Country of originIndia
Area servedWorldwide
OwnerBombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Founder(s)
  • Aprameya Radhakrishna
  • Mayank Bidawatka
[1]
Key peopleAprameya Radhakrishna
(CEO)
Industry
Employees200 (As of Sep 2021)[2]
URLkooapp.com
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
UsersIncrease 5 crore+ (50 million+)
(November 2022)
Launched2020
Current statusActive
Native client(s) oniOS, Android, Web

Prior to Koo, its parent company — Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd — launched and is operating Vokal, a question-and-answer app supporting Indian vernacular languages. According to data sourced from Crunchbase, the company raised Series A funding in 2018 from a clutch of investors including Blume Ventures, Kalaari Capital and Accel Partners India. In the latest round of funding announced earlier this month, former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai's 3one4 Capital also joined the list of those investing in Bombinate Technologies.

HistoryEdit

Initial growthEdit

According to statistics provided by analytics provider Sensor Tower, Koo saw 26 lakh (2.6 million) installs from Indian app stores in 2020, compared to 2.8 crores (28 million) installs observed for Twitter. From February 6 to February 11, the installations of Koo increased rapidly. The app increased in popularity after a weeklong standoff between Twitter and the Government of India over Twitter's refusal to block accounts which criticized the country's ruling party during the 2020–2021 Indian farmers' protest.[8][9] The government demanded that Twitter block the accounts of hundreds of activists, journalists, and politicians, accusing them of spreading misinformation.[9] Twitter complied with a majority of the orders, but refused some, citing freedom of expression.[8] Following this standoff, many Cabinet Ministers such as Piyush Goyal and various government officials moved to Koo and urged supporters to follow. This led to a surge in Koo's user base.[8] In April 2021, Ravi Shankar Prasad became the first minister with 25 lakh followers on Koo.[10]

Koo was the go-to alternative to Twitter in Nigeria after the country indefinitely banned Twitter for deleting a tweet by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.[11] The tweet had threatened a crackdown on regional separatists "in the language they understand". Twitter claimed the post was in violation of Twitter rules, but gave no further details. Twitter was officially banned in Nigeria on June 5, 2021. The Government of Nigeria created their official Koo account five days later on June 10.[12]

FundingEdit

As of May 2021, Koo investors include Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital,[13] Blume Ventures, Dream Incubator, 3one4 Capital, Blume Ventures, IIFL, and Mirae Asset. On 26 May 2021, Koo raised $30 million (about ₹218 crore) in Series B funding, led by Tiger Global.[14][15][16] After raising $30 million from Tiger Global, Koo's valuation increased, reaching over $100 million, up from about $25 million in February.[17] Shunwei Capital sold its whole stake in Koo by March 2021.[18] On 25 November 2022, Koo further raised $6 million in a funding round led Accel Partners and Tiger Global.[19][20]

Koo in BrazilEdit

After crises involving the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, Koo became an attractive social network for Brazilian users.[21] According to one of the founders, Aprameya Radhakrishna, until the 16th of November, only two thousand Brazilian users used Koo, which placed Brazil in position 75 on the list of countries with the most lifetime unique users. On the 18th alone, more than a million Brazilians registered on the social network, which placed Brazil in second place on the list.[22] The app featured at number 1 in the Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store in Brazil. Soon Portuguese support was added in the App.[23] Koo received so many submissions and comments that the site became unstable. Personalities such as Felipe Neto, Casimiro, Bruno Gagliasso and Pocah created their accounts on the social network. However, it became a joke and became a meme in Brazil due to its name, which has the same pronunciation as "cu", a vulgar term for buttocks.[24] Koo held a poll on Twitter asking Brazilians if the name of the social network should be changed, which was rejected. "Koo" reached the Top 3 of Twitter's trending topics in Brazil.[25]

Security incidentsEdit

In February 2021, a cybersecurity expert showed a data breach on the app, but the company rejected the claim.[26]

On November 19, 2022, an update caused a vulnerability allowing profiles to be hacked. KooForBrasil's Twitter profile admitted the failure and apologized saying that there had never been an invasion before.[27]

Interface and featuresEdit

Edit

Koo's logo is a yellow bird. The design of the bird was streamlined on 14 May 2021.[28]

User experienceEdit

Koo's interface is similar to that of Twitter, allowing users to categorize their posts with hashtags and tag other users in mentions or replies. Koo uses a yellow and white interface.[29][30]

On 4 May 2021, Koo introduced a new feature called "Talk to Type" which allows its users to create a post with the app's voice assistant.[31]

Koo marks verified accounts with a yellow-coloured tick.[32][33]

LanguagesEdit

Koo was first launched in Kannada[34] and supports Hindi, English, Portuguese, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese,[35] Marathi, Bangla, Gujarati, Punjabi, Hausa.[36][37]

ReceptionEdit

  • 2020 - Koo got Rank 2 in the Government of India's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge' in the Social category.[38]
  • 2021 - Koo was ranked among the Top 3 social media products in APAC (Asia-pacific) region as per the Amplitude report.[39]
  • 2022 - Koo CEO Aprameya Radhakrishnan was recognized as the Top 100 global tech changemakers [40]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Malhotra, Vanshika (7 August 2020). "Koo app: India's Twitter alternative will help you express views in your local language". India TV News.
  2. ^ PTI (12 September 2021). "Koo to raise headcount to 500 in next 1 year". The Hindu BusinessLine. Retrieved 15 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Will double headcount; lot of headroom for growing user base: Koo". The Hindu. PTI. 9 May 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 May 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Indian entrepreneurs back Koo app as Chinese investor exits". The Economic Times. 12 February 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  5. ^ Pratap, Ketan (10 February 2021). "Desi microblogging platform Koo will have to cover a lot of ground to be Twitter alternative". Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  6. ^ Ashrafi, Md Salman (23 November 2022). "Exclusive: Koo raises over $6 Mn led by Tiger Global". Entrackr. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Chingari, YourQuote and Koo are the winners of the Aatmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge". Indulge Express. IANS. 31 August 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Rai, Saritha (17 February 2021). "Twitter's clash with India government gives boost to local rival". Japan Times.
  9. ^ a b Perrigo, Billy (11 November 2022). "Elon Musk Has Inherited Twitter's India Problem". Time. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Ravi Shankar Prasad becomes first minister with 10 lakh followers on domestic Twitter "Koo"". Gadgets Techly360. 9 April 2021.
  11. ^ Mukul, Pranav (14 June 2021). "Explained: Nigerian govt joins Koo; what this means for Twitter's India-made rival". The Indian Express. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  12. ^ Alawadhi, Neha (10 June 2021). "Koo expands its wings, govt of Nigeria joins microblogging platform". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Koo Has A Chinese Investor Who Is Exiting, Says Founder Aprameya Radhakrishna". Moneycontrol. 11 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Koo raises $30mn funding led by Tiger Global". The Hindu. PTI. 26 May 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Twitter under fire, Koo announces $30 million fundraise: why it's significant". The Indian Express. 26 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  16. ^ "Koo raises $30 million funding led by Tiger Global". India Today. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  17. ^ Singh, Manish (26 May 2021). "Tiger Global leads $30 million investment in Indian Twitter rival Koo". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  18. ^ Mishra, Digbijay (18 March 2021). "Koo's Chinese investor sells entire stake". Times of India.
  19. ^ "Koo fetches $6 million as a part ongoing round". VCCircle. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  20. ^ Ashrafi, Md Salman (23 November 2022). "Exclusive: Koo raises over $6 Mn led by Tiger Global". Entrackr. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  21. ^ Barros, Matheus (18 November 2022). "As pessoas estão trocando o Twitter pelo Koo; entenda". Olhar Digital (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  22. ^ "Entrevista: fundador do Koo conta como notou brasileiros e fala dos rumos do app". Extra Online (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  23. ^ "Indian Twitter alternative Koo app launched in Brazil, garners 1 million downloads already". India Today. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  24. ^ Ormerod, Alex González (21 November 2022). "Twitter drama has Brazilians flocking to Indian platform Koo". Rest of World. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  25. ^ Oliveira, Tainane (18 November 2022). "Conheça o Koo! Rede social indiana viraliza entre os famosos". POPline (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  26. ^ KVN, Rohit (11 February 2021). "French cyber expert shows data leak on Koo app, company denies any breach". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  27. ^ Brasil, Koo (19 November 2022). "Brazilian digital influencer koo hacked in update". Twitter (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  28. ^ Ajmal, Anam (13 May 2021). "Koo App: Homegrown social media app Koo launches new logo". The Times of India. TNN.
  29. ^ Singh, Saurabh (7 August 2020). "Made in India Twitter alternative Koo wins government's app innovation challenge in social category". Financial Express. The Indian Express.
  30. ^ "Twitter's clash with government gives boost to Koo app". Hindustan Times. Bloomberg. 17 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Koo Launches New 'Talk To Type' Feature For Indian Languages". Moneycontrol. 4 May 2021. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  32. ^ Talakokkula, Karthik (11 February 2021). "How to get Verified Account on Koo (Verified Account)". Android Nature. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  33. ^ "Like blue tick, Now Koo App will give Yellow Tick to verified users!". Gadgets Techly360. 28 July 2021.
  34. ^ "Koo is now the largestmicro blog in Kannada". The Hindu. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  35. ^ Rawat, Aman, ed. (16 June 2021). "Nomoskaar Assam! Koo launches app in Assamese as Twitter comes under fire". Zee News. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  36. ^ "Official website".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  37. ^ "Indian Twitter alternative Koo app launched in Brazil, garners 1 million downloads already". India Today. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  38. ^ "MyGov Announces Winners of 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge'; Encourages the Spirit of Self-Reliance & Innovation". Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Electronics and IT. 7 August 2020. Archived from the original on 19 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  39. ^ "Koo among top 3 hottest social media products in APAC". BusinessToday.in. 17 November 2021. Archived from the original on 19 November 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  40. ^ "Koo's co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna recognized among top 100 global tech changemakers".

External linksEdit