India’s X alternative Koo to shut down services

  • Millions of social media users have been left stranded after Koo, India’s homegrown microblogging platform, announced it was shutting down its services.
  • The platform’s founders cited a lack of funding and the high cost of technology as reasons for their decision.

Launched in 2020, Koo offers instant messaging services in more than 10 Indian languages. The site gains traction in 2021 after several ministers backs it during a dispute between the Indian government and X, then known as Twitter.
–Zora Lin, BTW reporter

What happened

Millions of social media users have been left in the lurch after Koo, India’s homegrown microblogging platform that has billed itself as an alternative to X, announces it is shutting down its services.

By the end of 2021, the app has reached 20 million downloads in the country. However, the platform has struggled to secure funding over the past few years. Partnerships are explored with a number of large Internet companies, conglomerates and media outlets, but these negotiations did not produce the results we wanted. In April 2023, with the company facing heavy losses and a lack of funds, Koo lays off 30% of its 260 employees.

The founders say they would have liked to keep the app running, but the cost of technical services to do so was too high, so they “had to make this difficult decision.”

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Why it’s important

Despite numerous negotiations with large Internet companies, conglomerates, and media organizations, Koo fails to reach an ideal partnership or secure sufficient financial support. This reflects the difficulty in raising funds and positioning themselves in the market, especially in the highly competitive social media space.

For similar platforms to survive and thrive in an environment of globalization and technological progress, a solid market strategy, continuous innovation, and stable financial support are required.

Koo’s experience highlights the challenges emerging social media platforms face in a globalised marketplace, particularly in terms of money management and technology operations. This is an important learning case for similar businesses and investors to assess how to achieve long-term success and sustainable growth in a highly competitive market.


Zora Lin

Zora Lin is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave specialising in Products and AI. She graduated from Chang’an University. Send tips to

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