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Social networking app Pulse raises $500K from SAIF Partners

For-Pulse-Story-TC_ThinkstockPhotos-531313679Pulse, a social networking app that enables users to stay connected with their college or school communities, has raised $500,000 (around Rs 3.4 crore) in funding from venture and growth capital fund SAIF Partners.

Pulse, owned by Instalively Livestreaming Pvt. Ltd, provides users a full-screen visual experience of colleges around them, with customised stickers.

The startup will use the funds to expand its presence to cities such as Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Manipal, Chennai and Hyderabad, and ramp up its technology team.

“College and school students in India did not yet have a platform that is built ground-up for them. We really like the way the team has gone about building a platform that provides young users relevant content in the form of full-screen multimedia rich stories, which is something they understand the best.” Mayank Khanduja, principal at SAIF Partners, said in a statement.

The company, with a team of just two people, had previously raised funds from angel investors including Rajan Anandan (vice president of Google, South East Asia & India), Rajesh Sawhney (co-founder of InnerChef and founder of GSF Accelerator), Anupam Mittal (founder and chief executive of People Group), Uday Shankar (chief executive, Star TV India) and Anand Chandrasekaran (director, Facebook), among others.

The company is in talks with investors in India, China and the US for a larger round.

Pulse was co-founded in October this year by IIT Roorkee alumni Karthik Vaidyanath and Prakhar Khanduja.

“By narrowcasting to the relevant audience within and across nearby colleges, and giving the content hyper-local relevance, it (Pulse) greatly boosted content interactions and significantly reduced the inhibition of users for content creation,” said Vaidyanath.

The company claims that almost 30% of its users post daily, with daily active users (DAU) to monthly active users (MAU) ratio of nearly 25%. The app uses minimal internet bandwidth and one can view content as well as post offline.

The social networking space in India has quite a few dealmaking in the past few months.

Last week, ShareChat, a regional language social networking app operated by Mohalla Tech Pvt. Ltd, raised $4 million (Rs 27.5 crore) in a Series A round of funding led by Lightspeed India Partners.

This month, Nodd Ventures Pvt Ltd, which operates networking app Nodd, raised Rs 1 crore ($146,000) in funding from former Just Dial Ltd chief technology officer Sandipan Chattopadhyay, IKYA associate partner Jaison Jose and others.