AppsForBharat Raises $10 Mn In Series A Led By Elevation Capital

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AppsForBharat, a spiritual-tech company focused on building apps to service the spiritual and devotional needs of Indian users, has raised $10 Mn in a Series A funding round led by Elevation Capital with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and BEENEXT as well as Matrix Partners India. This round also featured leading angels like Scott Schleifer (Partner, Tiger Global), Saurabh Gupta (Managing Partner, DST Global), Ankush Sachdeva, Farid Ahsan and Bhanu Pratap Singh (Co-founders, ShareChat), Utsav Somani (Partner, iSeed), Anshumani Ruddra (Group PM, Google), Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal (Co-founders, Meesho), and Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED). The company will use the funds raised for creating content IPs, building the product, and hiring talent across the product, data and engineering verticals. Previously, in April 2021, the company had secured $4 Mn in seed funding (announced recently) from Sequoia Capital India, BEENEXT, and WEH Ventures.

Founded in November 2020 by Prashant Sachan, AppsForBharat is a product studio whose aim is to reimagine and digitize the experience of engaging with one’s faith. Spirituality and devotion form a core part of the average Indian’s life (in the physical, offline world)—from praying daily, planning events using almanacs, and reading scriptures, mantras and horoscopes, to engaging in practices like fasting and meditation and, finally, to celebrating the social and cultural aspects of all festivals and auspicious occasions. In recent times, there has been a strong demand among people of all ages to express their spirituality online. While the market today has apps that cater to individual needs like scriptures, stories, devotional audio, etc., they are often substandard. People do not have a go-to digital destination to engage in their faith holistically.

Through AppsForBharat, Prashant’s vision is to build a spiritual-tech company, which specifically addresses this underserved digital and spiritual need of the Indian population, by offering a thoughtful and unique user experience on their smartphones. The apps will attempt to move these large offline behaviours to an online platform with the aim of creating a digital habit. Currently, no other company has attempted to reimagine this space for faith on one’s digital device in such a comprehensive manner.

Commenting on the funding, Prashant Sachan, Founder, AppsForBharat, said, “We are grateful to have such great partners on our journey. As we continue building AppsForBharat, we are putting together a great team that is customer obsessed and approaching it the right way—focussing on user needs as well as driving delight and long-term retention. Our aim is to build products that users love, one that becomes a daily habit for a billion Indians, products that offer happiness and peace. If someone (reading this) is passionate about building products for such needs, we invite them to join our team.”  

SriMandir, the first product, aims to be the virtual destination for devotees to create their personalized shrines, consume devotional content, connect with prayer groups, and access a large library of spiritual texts, scriptures and videos. For more in-depth engagement, users can participate in personalized pravachan (discourses) and virtual Satsang, make offerings to temples, and even consult with astrologers and priests.

Prashant is no stranger to the world of startups; he had previously co-founded Trell, India’s largest lifestyle-content-community-commerce platform. His focus has always been on delivering a superior product and customer experience. For this venture, he has a talented multidisciplinary team experienced in building and scaling products across domains, such as content, gaming, social, and e-commerce. With AppsForBharat, they are building a digital sanctuary for those looking to enhance their spiritual journey on their smartphones. Even in the early phase, the team has been able to create a high-quality product (SriMandir) with an average rating of 4.8/5 and 1 million+ downloads on the Google Play Store. Going forward, AppsForBharat will also include products that will offer exceptional spiritual, devotional, wellbeing, and meditation-related tools, communities, and services.

Mayank Khanduja, Partner, Elevation Capital, said, “As early investors in multiple content and social platforms, we have been close witnesses to the need gap for devotional platforms. When we met Prashant and heard his vision behind AppsForBharat, we instantly knew this is a business we want to be partners in. As we spoke to the users, we realized that the product is satisfying the needs of a very wide distribution of audience across age groups, geographic locations and income brackets. We are really excited about the immense opportunity ahead for the company in building a product that works for a billion plus people.“



Categories: Most Read: 2021-09 (September), Venture Capital

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