July 25, 2024
Digital Media Latest News

BREAKING: India’s social media app Koo to shut down

“The little yellow bird says its final goodbye…”

Koo, the Indian microblogging platform created to rival X, will soon be shutting down. Sources believe that the decision followed unsuccessful negotiations for a potential sale or merger with several companies, including DailyHunt.

Founder Aprameya Radhakrishna took to LinkedIn to make the official announcement and wrote:

Here’s the final update from our end. Our partnership talks fell through and we will be discontinuing our service to the public. We explored partnerships with multiple larger internet companies, conglomerates and media houses but these talks didn’t yield the outcome we wanted. Most of them didn’t want to deal with user generated content and the wild nature of a social media company. A couple of them changed priority almost close to signing. While we would’ve liked to keep the app running, the cost of technology services to keep a social media app running is high and we’ve had to take this tough decision.”

Launched in 2020, Koo had a similar interface as Twitter with the app letting users categorize their posts with hashtags and tag users in replies or mentions. It also offered messaging in over languages, including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi and more.

The social media app gained prominence in 2021 after several ministers endorsed it amid a row between the Indian government and X, then known as Twitter. It also managed to secure $60 million in funding from famous investors like Tiger Global and Accel after it won the Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge, a part of the Indian government’s “Make in India” initiative.

Founders Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka said that Koo was “just months away” from beating X in India in 2022, but a “prolonged funder winter” forced them to downscale their ambitions.

“A prolonged funding winter which hit us at our peak hurt our plans at the time and we had to tone down on our growth trajectory,” Radhakrishna wrote. “Social media is probably one of the toughest companies to build even with all resources available as you need to grow users to a significant scale before one thinks of revenue. We needed 5 to 6 years of aggressive, long term and patient capital to make this dream a reality.”

They reportedly needed “5 to years of aggressive, long term and patient capital to make this dream a reality”. However, their attempt to explore partnerships with multiple larger internet companies, conglomerates and media houses did not yield the outcome they wanted.

“Most of them didn’t want to deal with user-generated content and the wild nature of a social media company. A couple of them changed priority almost close to signing.”