Hotify, a news curation app, has raised $150,000 in seed round at a valuation of $3.9 million. The round was led by Rajasthan Angel Investors Network (RAIN). The raised funding will be used for product development, to innovate on artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and to expand the team.
RAIN was launched three years ago to invest in early-stage ventures and in 2014, it invested in Blue Box Media Pvt Ltd, Locus Transit Pvt Ltd and Kidswids Online Services Pvt Ltd.
Started in January 2015 by Ankur Dinesh Garg, Alok Gautam, Li Jian & Abhinav Dinesh Garg, Hotify wants to become a platform to ingest, process, recommend digital content from across the web to its users. The team believes in providing real-time awareness to its users with the use of technology. At present, it is serving this purpose through an Android mobile app.
Ankur is an IIT Bombay graduate, and had previously founded eCommerce site AllSchoolStuff and tech incubator Wirefoot India. Alok, an ex-entrepreneur and alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, had earlier founded education and corporate training venture Travelocon. Chinese national Li is the founder of Draphant Consultants.
In India, the app is competing with a number of other players like InShorts (formerly NewsInShorts), DailyHunt (formerly NewsHunt) and Flipboard, which acquired Zite in March 2014.
One week back, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup, Arya.ai raised a Pre-Series A funding of $750,000 from YourNest Angel Fund and VentureNursery members. And, in October end, Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in seed funding in a stealth-mode artificial intelligence (AI) startup called Niki.ai. Technology titans like Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Google and Microsoft are also aggressively carrying out intensive research on AI.
Disclosure: iamwire and Hotify share common stakeholders.