Josh Talks, one of India’s largest regional content and upskilling platforms, has raised $3.5 million in a round led by Ankur Capital.
Marquee investors such as Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Vaibhav Domkundwar (Better Capital), Vineeta Singh (SUGAR Cosmetics), Ritesh Agarwal (OYO), and Ankur Warikoo (Ex-Nearbuy) among others also participated in the round.
Josh Talks, which previously raised $1.5 million from the New York-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), runs one of the largest networks of non-entertainment channels on YouTube in India and is now building product lines to unlock its distribution.
“The organisation will utilise the freshly raised funds to refine its product and scale Josh Skills to become the preferred social learning platform for Bharat. Further, the organisation will experiment with new product lines catering to the aspirations of this user segment,” the company said in a statement.
Their viewership has grown tremendously over the years, averaging 85 million monthly views across platforms. Leveraging this massive distribution funnel, the organisation made its foray into interactive educational courses by launching the Josh Skills Android application during the pandemic. “The app has reported more than 3.2 million downloads since its launch and has over 200,000 paid subscribers from Tier II and III cities of India,” the statement added.
“Over the last two years, we have doubled down on two things - growing our distribution across 10 languages and creating a product that monetises this distribution network. We have been able to understand the aspirations of young India and have built one of the largest online communities, which is in turn directed towards our app, Josh Skills with 0 CAC. With the new capital, our goal is to expand our offerings, strengthen our executive team and take Josh to every household in India”, said Supriya Paul, CEO & Co-founder, Josh Talks.
Commenting on the fundraise, Rema Subramanian, co-founder and managing partner, Ankur Capital, said, “The Josh team has always created solutions through first-principles reasoning. Whether it was with Josh Talks where they built it, language by language, focusing on the aspirations of the user segment, or now with Josh Skills, where the focus is on emulating an offline college experience. Their obsession with their users and solving their problems is what inspired us to back them.”
“We believe that when learning happens in a social context, it leads to better educational outcomes and higher retention rates. On average, a user spends 51 minutes daily on the Josh Skills app, conversing in English which is a testament to the product’s success. We believe with new course launches and a refined product, Josh will become the go-to for the next billion users”, added Shobhit Banga, CPO and co-founder, Josh Talks.