YoTurf co-founder Vaishnavi Iyer confirmed that the firm is raising capital but declined to share more details. “Yes, we are in talks with Exhilway, but the deal is not closed yet.” Adding further she stated that the startup will use the funds for marketing as well as to set up an office in Mumbai. A part of the money will also be used for creating a user database.
Rahul Kumar, Country Head, India, Exhilway, declined to comment on funding details, but added that the deal is in advanced stage of discussions.
Founded earlier this year by Abimanyu Jadhavrao (founder and CEO) and Vaishnavi (co-founder), YoTurf is a mobile only interest based social networking app. The mobile app available on the iOS app store aims to connect Turfers or users based on their shared interests through GPS. The idea is to make chatting or connecting more worthwhile and to offer a platform where interaction gives way to something more profound and fulfilling than enjoyment alone. The Android app will be out in the near future.
If the investment sees through then it would be the first investment from Exhilway Global Opportunities Private Equity Fund in the mobile and social networking space. Founded in 1974, Exhilway Global invested Rs 25 crore in Livewell Healthcare, a Hyderabad-based company which is creating a chain of hospitals under the Laurel brand. Previously, it had also invested Rs 25 crore in IndiDebt.com, a yet-to-be launched debt funding platform.
In the next five years, Kumar states that Exhilway Global will invest as much as $5 billion in India and other emerging markets.
Good news for the Indian social networking startup space which is yet to make a mark in the global space. The recent closure of Wishberg – the social wishing platform was a bad news for the space. Founded in 2011, Wishberg which was earlier known as Tyche’d had raised funding from India Quotient and a set of angel investors.