After the TikTok ban, Mitron app has raised Rs. 2 crores in a seed funding round from 3one4 Capital and a Letsventure syndicate led by startup investor Arun Tadanki. The app has also reached the milestone of 1.7 crore downloads on Google Play. The new achievement took place just five days after crossing the 1 crore downloads mark and shortly after the government imposed a ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps in India. MitronTV, the makers of the Mitron app, said that the app saw more than 11 times growth in its daily traffic just a day after the TikTok ban came into place.
The development team behind the Mitron app will use the fresh funding to accelerate its product development roadmap, engage deeper with Indian content creators, and hire new talent to scale the tech infrastructure and make it available for a larger user base, the company said in a statement.
“With the support of this round, our focus is on building features and supporting content that uniquely resonates with Indian users, while prioritising community standards and local laws in India,” said Shivank Agarwal, Founder and CEO of the Mitron app, in a mailed statement.
Agarwal, a computer science engineer and IIT Roorkee alumnus, founded the Mitron app along with Anish Khandelwal earlier this year. The app went live on Google Play in April and crossed 50 lakh downloads in less than a month after its debut.
“Our platform is now completely scalable and autonomous and that is helping us to cater to the sharp rise in traffic and engagement on Mitron app,” said Co-Founder and CTO Khandelwal.
The anti-China sentiment helped the Mitron app attract new users on its platform. However, it did have various bugs and issues at the initial stage. The app was even briefly removed from Google Play for violating Google's “Spam and Minimum Functionality” policy. Furthermore, its source code was initially claimed to have a link with a Pakistani developer.
“We have been working with founders from [the] pre-incorporation phase and we believe that [the] founding team is top notch with an ability to build a world-class product for Indian users,” said Tadanki, lead of the LetsVenture syndicate.
The TikTok ban that came into force by the government on Monday is largely helping Mitron reach new users. The app is claimed to have seen the 11-fold jump in its traffic shortly after the ban was imposed by the government. Similarly, it also received lakhs of new downloads from Google Play following the restrictions emerged for its Chinese competitor.
MitronTV claims that apart from the increase in downloads and daily traffic, videos viewed on the Mitron app crossed 24 million video views per hour in the past few days.
“We are now doubling down on improving the full breadth of user experience on the app and we are looking forward to releasing some exciting new features soon,” said Agarwal.
Other Indian apps getting benefitted by TikTok ban
Mitron isn't the only video-sharing app that is getting a positive impact of the TikTok ban in the country. Other Indian apps based on the same short-video format including Chingari and Roposo are also receiving a sudden growth due to the absence of the Chinese app that had over 20 crore users in the country.
The Chingari app co-founder Sumit Ghosh recently revealed that his team saw as many as 1 lakh downloads per hour of the app just after the TikTok ban was imposed on Monday. Roposo also received over 4 crore video views an hour shortly after TikTok left Google Play.
While these apps are seeing large growth, many of the popular influencers on TikTok are looking at already established platforms. Many TikTok creators Gadgets 360 spoke to said they have moved to Instagram and YouTube instead of switching to the Indian solutions. This suggests that there is still some time for the homegrown apps to attract the masses.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.