Local video news platform Awaaz raises seed funding from Matrix Partners India

Awaaz’s initial focus is to provide a platform to source local video news by providing breaking news videos from surrounding localities in the users’ regional language.
Local video news platform Awaaz raises seed funding from Matrix Partners India
Local video news platform Awaaz raises seed funding from Matrix Partners India
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Awaaz, a startup in the online news broadcasting space has received an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Matrix Partners India.

Awaaz has just started its activity is a few districts of UP with localized news videos being uploaded on its app available for download from the Google Play Store. It is reported that some 30,000 odd downloads have occurred so far. But Awaaz has some ambitious plans to expand its operations to other languages in due course.

Founded by Subodh Kolhe and Firasat Durrani, the business model of Awaaz is built based on the sheer numbers of internet users in India which has grown rapidly during the past couple of years. It is expected that the internet user base may cross the 800 million mark by 2021, most of them on mobile devices. And over 80% of these users are non-English speaking. That’s the kind of audience that the local news providers are trying to target. Market research has indicated that these users prefer to watch local channels more than national channels, particularly for news.

Commenting on the fundraise, Subodh Kolhe, co-founder, Awaaz said, “Enabling access to local news and information in regional languages, among other verticals, is our mission at Awaaz. Local updates such as political updates, municipality updates and local incidents are primary concerns for regional users. Most of these demands are not fulfilled with existing platforms, we at Awaaz will be working towards solving this information gap. The Matrix team is a great partner in our journey and their experience in scaling online marketplaces for Indian markets is a great value-add for our team.”

Awaaz is trying to employ technology to use technology in its attempt to help the local journalists create the news clippings and the way they are aired on their platform. They may keep adding non-news content as well, based on the feedback they receive from the users.

“Awaaz sits dead center of our next billion user thesis, and at the confluence of several exciting trends in Indian internet. India is now the largest data consumer in the world at 9GB+/capita usage, with the bulk going to video consumption. At the same time, 9 out of 10 users coming online don’t speak English and almost half use their smartphones for their daily dose of news and other content but the supply is limited. Awaaz is trying to cater to this unique opportunity. We are excited by Subodh and Firasat’s vision, and are privileged to partner with them on this journey,” Sanjot Malhi, Vice President, Matrix India said in a statement.

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