Mitron, Six-Month-Old Indian TikTok Rival, Gets Funding At $20 Million Valuation
Attendees use their smartphones to take video clips during the TikTok Creator’s Lab 2019 event hosted by Bytedance Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg)

Mitron, Six-Month-Old Indian TikTok Rival, Gets Funding At $20 Million Valuation

Indian short video platform Mitron, a TikTok rival that has seen its user base explode after the ban on Chinese platforms, raised $5 million in fresh funding from Nexus Venture Partners.

Anish Khandelwal, co-founder and chief technology officer at Mitron, told BloombergQuint over the phone that existing investors 3one4 Capital, an early-stage venture fund; and Letsventure syndicate led by Arun Tadanki also participated. The funding valued the startup at around $20 million.

Indian short video-sharing platforms have seen subscriber base soar after the government banned TikTok, with more than 200 million users in the country, and other Chinese apps following a deadly border scuffle. The avalanche of migration drew investors for local ventures. In less than two months, startups such as ShareChat, Chingari, Bolo Indya have raised more than $40 million, according to data by Venture Intelligence. Lightspeed Ventures, SAIF, Trustbridge Partners are among a dozen investors to bet on these platforms.

Angel inventors, including Deep Kalra, chairman of MakeMyTrip; Jiten Gupta, founder at Jupiter; Amarjit Batra, managing director at Spotify India; TK Kurien, chief investment officer at Premji Invest, the investment arm of Wipro Founder Azim Premji; and others have participated in Mitron’s fresh funding round.

Many of these startups including Mitron and Moj are less than a year old, and most lack the sophistication and user-friendly interfaces that made TikTok a successful platform.

Founded in April 2020, Mitron (Hindi for friends) has over 35 million users so far and about 20 million daily users. It plans to use the investment to accelerate product development, and hire fresh talent to strengthen the platform, Khandelwal said.

Large part of the focus will also be to onboard a wide network of content creators on the app and help them generate revenues, he said. “The idea is not just to create platform but provide creative tools to help showcase talent, and that is where our major focus is going to be.”

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