Lokal, a Local News & Classifieds App for Indians in Regional Languages

Lokal, a Local News & Classifieds App for Indians in Regional Languages

Lokal, a news app brings local news to Indian users in their regional languages. The startup is funded by American Seed Funding provider ‘Y Combinator‘. The app is currently available in Telugu language which has gained more than two million users.

 

 

Lokal is building a network of stringers and freelance reporters who produce original reporting around the current affairs and issues of local towns and cities. The app is updated throughout the day with regional news and also includes an information stream which shows things like current price of vegetables, upcoming events and contact details for local doctors and police stations.

It has grown to cover 18 districts in South India and it is expanding its operations to more places of India. The early signs show that people are increasingly finding Lokal useful. “In 11 of the 18 districts we cover, we already have a larger presence and reader base than other media houses,” CEO Jani Pasha said.

“We made the biggest mistake. We built the product for four to five months without ever consulting with the users. We quickly found that nobody was using it. We went back to the drawing board and started interviewing users to understand what they wanted. How they consumed news, and where they got their news from,” he said.

“One thing we learned was that most of these users in tier 2 and tier 3 India still heavily rely on newspapers. Newspapers still carry a lot of local news and they rely on stringers who produce these news pieces and source them to publications,” he added.

Pasha tried to replicate it through distributing local news, sourced from stringers, on a WhatsApp group. “That one WhatsApp group quickly became one of many as more and more people kept joining us,” he recalls. And that led to the creation of Lokal. Along the journey, the team found that classifieds, matrimonial ads and things like birthday wishes are still people to newspapers, so Lokal has brought those things to the platform.Pasha said Lokal will expand to three more states in the coming months. It will also begin to experiment with monetization, though that is not the primary focus currently. “The plan is to eventually bring this to entire India,” he said.

Lokal is serving a largely under served market in India ( India 2 ) who got access to the internet recently because of Jio and cheaper . Lokal aspires to be at the center of the change happening in India by giving access to information(about jobs, government schemes, community etc ) and wants to serve 700 million Indian users by 2022.

Lokal app offers Telugu News with unique features:
1. Get viral video and trending video news from your region, before any Telugu newspaper
2. Get regular jobs and employment updates from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and your district in Telugu
3. Lokal TV – viral news updates to share on Whatsapp Groups, set as Status
4. Follow the latest politics and elections of your city, jilla, and state in Telugu
5. Save by watching Daily News Video Bulletin every night in Telugu
6. Share Telugu news with your friends and family on WhatsApp Status, Facebook Stories, Messenger Stories etc
7. Share on Whatsapp groups – viral and trending videos of your Jilla and set as WhatsApp Status
8. Submit local Telugu news and become famous
9. Follow and movie news of Tollywood stars like Mahesh Babu, Pawan Kalyan, NTR, Vijay Devarakonda, Samantha, Rashmika Mandana, Anushka, Kajal Agarwal and other stars
10. Download videos and set WhatsApp status, send news on WhatsApp Groups
11. Get Job Notifications, Employment news – Local jobs, government jobs, private jobs, vidya-udyogalu news
12. Daily news updates, current affairs, question answers, quizzes for employment exam preparation.

Credits: https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/16/lokal-news-yc/

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Lokal, a Local News & Classifieds App for Indians in Regional Languages
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Lokal, a Local News & Classifieds App for Indians in Regional Languages
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Lokal, a news app brings local news to Indian users in their regional languages. The startup is funded by American Seed Funding provider 'Y Combinator'. The app is currently available in Telugu language which has gained more than two million users.
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