Just a couple of days ago I wrote about SMSGupShup, a micro-blogging application that was developed for the Indian market. Techcrunch is reporting that the company has secured additional funding:
Webaroo Raises A $10 Million Round For SMSGupShup
webarooWebaroo Technology has raised a $10 million round of funding for their product SMSGupShup, an SMS-based community site in India, according to Plugged.in. The round, the third for the company, was co-led by Helion Venture Partners and Charles River Ventures.
Given a slow morning, I was just reading through some older Google Reader feeds, and came upon this excellent post over at VentureBeat. Anand Rajaraman is an investor in an Indian service called SMS GupShup, which serves as a Twitter-like micro-blogging service for the Indian mobile market. Why would micro-blogging matter in places like India? Here’s a short example that Rajaraman mentions:
One day the GupShup spam control team noticed several messages that looked like gobbledygook to them. So they sent these suspected spammers account termination notices. They didn’t expect the response: messages not just from those senders but from many others, pleading with them not to terminate the accounts. It turns out the messages were in a language called Hmar, only spoken by some 65,000 tribal people living in the hilly regions of India’s northeast. There are now several Hmar groups on SMS GupShup; the tribal group sees this as a major communication channel. Being too small to attract mainstream media, the group also sees SMS GupShup as their main form of media and a way to save their language and culture from extinction as they assimilate into the Indian mainstream.