The Indian short-form video app Mitron, which has been hailed as India’s answer to TikTok, has raised $5 million in funding led by Nexus Venture Partners. The round also saw participation from existing investors 3one4 Capital and Arun Tadanki’s private syndicate on LetsVenture.
Several notable angles and entrepreneurs like Deep Kalra, Founder and Chairman MakeMyTrip; Anand Chandrasekharan, Former Facebook executive; Karan Bajwa, MD, Google Cloud India; Radhika Ghai, Co-founder, ShopClues; Jiten Gupta, Founder, Jupiter; Shanti Mohan, Founder, LetsVenture; Amrish Rau, CEO, PineLabs; TK Kurien, Premji Invest; Manish Vij, and Harish Bahl, Smile Group also participated in their individual capacity.
The funding will be used primarily for product development, increasing user engagement, and for talent acquisition. It will also help the startup to onboard a network of content creators and invest in the platform’s brand.
Arun Tadanki said in a press statement, “Mitron has been making rapid progress in establishing itself as the primary choice in the short-form video space and therefore, we are doubling down on our investment”
The company will use the new infusion of capital to accelerate its product development to increase user engagement and hire high quality talent. The company also plans to onboard a wide network of Indian content creators on the app and invest in building Mitron brand.
Shivank Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Mitron, said in a press statement shared by the company, “We are thrilled to have Nexus Venture Partners join us in this journey, bringing in deep expertise of helping their portfolio companies build great products. We are committed to building Mitron as a world-class product that is designed for Indian users, by re-imagining digital entertainment and engagement.”
The platform allows users to create, view, upload, and share short videos. Launched in April 2020, it was founded by Anish Khandelwal and Shivank Agarwal, who earlier worked at MakeMyTrip, and already has over 33 million downloads on Google’s Play Store. Mitron also claims to have over nine billion video views per month.
Pratik Poddar, Principal at Nexus Venture Partners, said in a release, “Shivank and Anish are product-first, deep-tech and very iterative entrepreneurs. We have been tracking them for three months and loved the way they have evolved their thinking around content creation, community management, and video delivery. We love backing ‘product and tech-first’ entrepreneurs. We believe eventually the best product with long-term thinking will win. Focus is to create a high engagement and high retention community. Then only you can be long term partners for creators.”
Before the ban on 59 Chinese apps, Mitron gained popularity for being a ‘Made in India’ app and, at the same time, TikTok’s rating fell to around two points. However, the app also faced its controversies, with Google removing it from the Play Store “due to violation of its ‘spam and minimum functionality’ policy”. However, the app was back soon enough.
Anish Khandelwal, Founder and CTO, said “We have been rapidly improving our product experience and with this funding round, we plan to invest further in hiring top notch product and engineering talent that will help us build a world-class platform that can scale seamlessly”.
Currently, Mitron’s direct competition would be homegrown apps such as newly-launched Chingari. Recently, ZEE5 launched TikTok-like short video platform HiPi within its app, which lets users create 90-second videos.
Anurag Ramdasan, Head of Investments at 3one4 Capital, said, “Shivank and Anish have built an impressive product together that we decided to back when they had just launched on the Play Store. Since then, the growth of the product as well as the team has been inspiring. The differentiated, long term thinking demonstrated by the founding team has led us to continue believing in them. We are excited to continue our work with the company to help build the next evolution of video engagement out of India”
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)
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