Social Media Startup Koo To Cease Operations After Failed Acquisition Talks

Indian social media startup Koo is set to shut down its operations following unsuccessful acquisition discussions.

What Happened: Koo, which had emerged as a homegrown alternative to X (formerly Twitter), is pulling the plug on its services after acquisition talks did not materialise. The news was announced by Koo’s co-founders, Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, in a LinkedIn post on July 3.

Despite attempts to forge partnerships with various larger internet companies, conglomerates, and media houses, the discussions did not bear fruit. Bidawatka shared that most potential partners were apprehensive about dealing with user-generated content and the unpredictable nature of a social media company.

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The founders also disclosed that a few of the media partners shifted their priorities close to signing. The high cost of technology services required to maintain a social media app led to the decision to shut down the platform.

The startup, which had the backing of Tiger Global, had managed to raise $65 million (around ₹543 crores) from investors including Accel, 3one4 Capital, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Kalaari Capital, among others.

Koo at its peak had a monthly users of 94 lakh in July 2022, when X formerly known as Twitter was involved in a legal tussle with the Indian government. The startup’s woes started in September 2022 when it fired 40 employees. In April 2023 it laid off 30% of its workforce as it grappled funding. By that time, the number of active users in the app fell to 31 lakh.

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