Delhi-based Bluegape LifeStyle Pvt Ltd, which owns visual blogging and online content generation platform Bluegape.com, has raised $600,000 (Rs 4 crore) from ah! Ventures, Fidelity’s Rudy Gopalakrishnan and Times Internet.
The transaction was closed on angel investor group ah! Ventures’ equity raising platform, CLUBah.com, the company said in a media statement.
Bluegape will use the funds to strengthen the technology infrastructure and expand its engineering team.
“Our vision is to make communication of ideas and knowledge easy. On Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others, we are connected to our close group of friends and they are like your private social identity. Bluegape, on the other hand, will be your public social identity which is about self-expression with the world,” said Sahil Baghla, co-founder and CEO, Bluegape.
Barclays Capital India acted as the financial advisor to Bluegape for the transaction.
The startup was founded in August 2011 by Baghla, Ayush Varshney (CTO) and Akash Rastogi (operations), who were later joined by Shailendra Singh (design). All three founders are alumni of IIT Kanpur. It began as a portal that allowed designers and brands to set up merchandise stores and sell through e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon. Due to copyright infringement issues and constraints of scalability, it shut the existing business in December 2014 and pivoted into the visual blogging space. A few months after pivoting, the startup raised $200,000 in a bridge round from Gopalakrishnan, two investors from Ah! Ventures and other angels.
Currently, Bluegape allows users to make collaborative listicles with visuals. It claims to have over 15 million unique visitors every month who create around 100,000 posts. Bluegap would compete with photo blogging platform Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion.
“Bluegape is a social media disruptor. Sahil and Ayush have created the future of social media. Within a short span, Bluegape has seen traction of over 15 unique million visitors each month and is growing…it reflects the dedication of the team in delivering a world class product out of India,” said Abhijeet Kumar, co-founder of ah! Ventures.
In its previous avatar, Bluegape had raised money from LetsVenture.com in January 2014. Before that, it raised under Rs 1 crore in angel funding from Aniket Khera (fund manager at Wegmans Financial Services Ltd), Rahul Bhatia (portfolio manager at Willow Investment Management, LLC) and an unnamed internet entrepreneur.