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.