Indian community-commerce platform Trell raises $11.4m

India Gate. Photo: Abhidev Vaishnav/unsplash

Indian community-commerce platform Trell announced a $11.4 million Series A round led by KTB Network. Samsung Ventures, Ankur Nagpal, CEO of Teachable, Gokul Rajaram (board member, Pinterest, Square, DoorDash) and Vineet Buch (ex-head of Google Play Store Development) also participated via Firebolt Ventures in the round along with existing investors Sequoia’s Surge, Fosun RZ Capital, and WEH Ventures.

Given the Chinese origin of some of the investors like KTB and Fosun, the deal is pending government approval, according to people in the know.

After the Indian government banned many popular Chinese apps like TikTok in the country, a lot of Indian brands like Trell, Chingari and Roposo have tried to fill the void left behind these apps. Since the Chinese app ban, Trell claims it has witnessed 500% growth with a total of 15 million plus creators on its platform receiving more than 5 billion monthly views and has been rapidly growing since then.

Since Chinese apps were banned in June, this space has seen some investor interest in India. However, most investors measure retention to see how many users opened the app and performed at least one action within a stipulated period of time. The platforms have gained lots of downloads but have been struggling with user retention.

In March, Trell had announced a $4 million pre-Series A funding round. The company said that the round has been led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, Fozun RZ Capital and KTB Network. Trell is a mobile application, where users come together to share 3-minute vertical videos in native languages. Currently, they have over 20 categories available in 8 Indian languages. Trell monetises through social commerce where the passion-based community of content creators (KOL’s) enable users to make well informed and suitable purchase decisions for better lifestyle choices.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.