Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra has invested USD 1 million (about Rs 7.5 crore) in Gurugram-based Hapramp -- a startup working on technologies like blockchain and social media. The startup was founded in 2018 by five students of Indian Institute of Information Technology-Vadodara.
"Took 2 yrs, but I finally found the start-up I was looking for! @Hapramp is indigenous, built by 5 young founders & brings together a best-in-class combination of creativity, technology & data protection. Look out for @gosocial_app their social networking platform," Mahindra tweeted on Wednesday.
In 2018, Mahindra had announced via Twitter a funding opportunity for an Indian social media startup that met certain criteria. He had asked ex-Mahindra executive, Jaspreet Bindra to work with him to find a next-gen Indian social network start-up.
"The Hapramp team is building a Web 3.0 social network. It is built on emerging digital technologies, has a solid business model which rewards content creators, protects personal data, and best of all, is built here locally in India," Bindra said.
He has been signed on as Executive Advisor and Mentor to the Hapramp founding team.
Hapramp has been incubated through its early days by Huddle, a sector-agnostic incubator that is based in Gurugram. It has also invested in Hapramp.
In addition to its flagship social networking solution GoSocial, Hapramp also operates 1Ramp.io, a social media platform powered by Steem Blockchain, and Asteria Protocol.
Asteria Protocol will help platforms to privately and securely treat public data.
"We are honoured and excited. This is a massive approval of our mission to give creators the right to their content. We plan to use the funds to expand our platform and want to empower creators," Hapramp co-founder and CEO Shubhendra Vikram told PTI.
He, however, declined to comment on the valuation.
Talking about GoSocial, Vikram said the platform has aleady garnered 50,000 users in less than three months. It allows users to take creative challenges designed by photographers, artists, writers, and designers and get rewarded.
He added that the current focus is on building userbase and monetisation will happen eventually. The app is available on Google Play Store and will soon be available on Apple App Store as well.
"We are targeting one lakh users in the next three months and 10 lakh by the end of the year in India. We also plan to take the platform to South East Asian countries, we will look at that around October," he said.
The startup has 12 employees. The founders are based in Gurugram, while the staff is located across the country.
"We will continue to operate a lean team but we are looking at hiring. By end of the year, we should be at 25-30 people," Vikram said.