Professional social network Lunchclub eyes India launch
Pritish Nair, who previously worked with GrabOn and Prodigy Finance, has been selected as India lead of the platform. The social network, which is currently free to use, will soon have a tiered subscription model for users.
Supported by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Andreesseen Horowitx, and Coatue Management, Lunchclub’s active user base has grown 20 times in India since it launched beta operations in mid-2020, according to chief executive Vladimir Novakovski.
“We saw kind of pretty-fast growth across the board, but I think India was eventually even more so than some of the core US cities,” Novakovski said. “What was interesting to see is that from different industries, including media, entertainment, finance and not just people from tech, have been signing up.”
Lunchclub aims to have 100,000 users in India by the end of 2021. To help achieve its goal, Lunchclub has partnered with co-working space provider WeWork and growth accelerator T-Hub. It’s also working with alumni communities of leading business schools.
Founded by Novakovski and Scott Wu in 2017, Lunchclub raised $24.2 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed at a valuation of $100 million. It has seen a total of $30 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Coatue.
The company has grown a factor of around 15 in the last year.
It launched as an invite-only concierge service for in-person introduction but, last March, the COVID pandemic caused it to pivot to video calls instead. The social network is available to download as a mobile app or can be accessed through web browser.
“India is a key global destination when it comes to professional networking,” Novakovski said in a statement. “Post-pandemic, while the need to establish quality professional connections is intact, there is a need for a channel that could help form meaningful conversations without sifting through hordes of people.”
The platform also works as a networking hub for start-ups.
“Already third on the global list of countries with the highest number of unicorns, there lies an immense potential to speed things up with the networking tools Lunchclub provides – from building teams, raising investment, onboarding service providers or anything in between,” he added.
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