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AppsForBharat to raise $4M from Sequoia and Beenext

appsforbharat

Sequoia Capital India and Beenext Ventures are in the final phase to invest in a spiritual startup, three people aware of the details of the transaction revealed.

“Sequoia and Beenext are in an advanced stage to invest $4 million in AppsForBharat,” said one of the people mentioned above urging anonymity. 

Launched last November, AppsForBharat is developing several mobile and web apps mainly focusing on the spiritual and devotional needs of Indian users. According to the person quoted above, its first app, which is in stealth mode, would focus on the devotional space and provide daily aarti, chalisa, panchang, horoscope among others.

“The term sheet has been finalized and the transaction is expected to be announced soon,” said the second source who also requested not to be disclosed. “AppsForBharat would be valued at $16 million (post-money) in this transaction,” revealed the second source.

The six-month-old company had already roped in around $200K in a seed round from Sequoia Capital India and Trell in April, regulatory filings reveal.

The possible investment in AppsForBharat confirms the fact that venture capitals are open for backing opportunities in the spiritual and devotional space. Investors find this space attractive due to the huge audience size and growing smartphone penetration. 

According to an Expert Market Research report, the religion and spirituality market in India was nearly worth $44 billion in 2020 and expected to grow with a CAGR of 10%.

appsforbharat

Satish Meena, co-founder of mythical storytelling platform Sutradhar said, “There is a strong link to commerce in this segment and offers opportunities for companies to create content and build community on top of which they can sell products and services. This can also lead to the creation of D2C brands in this category as the market is mostly unbranded and unorganized.”

Sutradhar had also gathered seed funds from Titan Capital and a few angels including Suraj Saharan and Nitin Saluja. The regulatory filings reveal the company had raised $110K from these investors.

While several startups have emerged in recent times to seize opportunity through content and commerce, various startups had tried different models over the years but they didn’t grow and failed to attract investors’ attention. 

Launched around 2014-15, OnlinePrasad, Muhurtmaza, and MyPundit were early evangelists in this field. However, these companies didn’t grow to any sizable scale. Currently, Sutradhar, MyMandir, 27 Mantra among a few others are well-known players in the devotional and religious fields.

The team of Appsforbharat is an alumni of IITs and has previously worked at Microsoft, Samsung, and high-growth startups. Founder Prashant Sachan had also previously founded Trell. Under the expertise of such accomplished people, Appsforbharat will reach new heights.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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