The round also saw participation from existing investors — India Quotient and Elevation Capital.
FRND, a Bengaluru-based audio romance and friend discovery startup, has raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) creator KRAFTON. The round also saw participation from existing investors — India Quotient and Elevation Capital.
Founded in 2019 by IIT Kanpur alumni Bhanu Pratap Singh Tanwar, Hardik Bansal and Harshvardhan Chhangani, FRND is a dating app that allows users to connect with each other through live-streamed FRND dating and audio games such as Raja Rani Chor Police, Voice Match, and many other games with a focus on creating one-on-one connections.
Its users can connect via audio in a pseudo-anonymous manner and start conversations through a matchmaker. The matchmaker-led game and chat rooms on the platforms come with certain moderation systems aimed at connecting people through safe yet engaging conversations.
Bhanu Pratap Singh Tanwar, CEO and Co-founder of FRND, said “There is a huge untapped opportunity in the Indian romance market where youngsters connect and interact with the opposite gender over the internet. We have been working towards providing a safer platform to the Indian youth, especially girls. The security features and state-of-the-art algorithms make FRND just the right app for these next billion users to have a unique experience in a controlled way.”
He further added, “We are thrilled to have received funding from KRAFTON, Inc. With this funding, we are looking at growing FRND from the current 10 Indian languages, strengthening our technology ecosystem and increasing our footprint both within India and internationally.”
FRND is currently available on Google Play Store and has over five million registered users, with an average user spending approximately 25 minutes each day using the app
Commenting on the investment, Sean Hyunil Sohn, Head of India Division at KRAFTON, Inc, said in a press release, “This investment is aligned with our efforts to intensify our commitment to the startup ecosystem in India. FRND is a unique product that is disrupting an entire category with a unique local solution that global companies will find tough to adapt to. We see great potential in this high-volume transaction digital startup and are happy to invest in its growth story. We are driven to make a difference to the digital ecosystem in this country and will continue exploring more such opportunities where we can back young and growing start-ups.”
This is the fourth investment done by Krafton Inc in the Indian startup ecosystem. Earlier, in March this year, it had made a minority investment of $22.5 million in NODWIN Gaming. In June 2021, the company invested seed funding worth $9 million in the gaming live streaming platform Loco, together with other investors.
Source: Business World