Pulkit Agarwal has been a tech lover for as long as he can remember. Since he was a kid, he’s been fascinated with the evolution of technology and how it helps people solve all their day to day problems and it inspired him to pursue and complete his Electrical Engineering course from IIT Bombay.
Pulkit met his co-founders during his time in IIT. They were really big on backpacking, biking, road trips, gadgets and such. As students, they would always go online to find content and suggestions for activities they wanted to do like – the best street-food areas in Mumbai, the best outfits for a party, simple recipes to make in your hostel. Etc. But the problems they faced were always the same:
- Click-baity blogs posted by companies who ran SEOs
- Content coming from unknown sources, ones which they weren’t sure could be trusted; and
- Content which was targeted to a western audience. The suggestions just didn’t sit right with their Indian lifestyle
They realized that lifestyle discovery was a huge problem in India. And so Pulkit and his team established Trell – a platform for all users to share their experiences, suggestions, and reviews about various aspects of the Indian lifestyle. This included 3-5 minute vlogs curated from trusted sources about topics covering health and fitness, beauty and skincare, travel, movie reviews, cooking, home-décor, and more. The ‘shop’ feature lets users purchase products featured in the vlogs and also allows them to earn rewards, goodies, and vacations through its interface. As of recently, the platform has become available in 8 languages – English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Kannada, and Bengali.
Trell now trends at #1 in Free Lifestyle Apps. The ban on Chinese apps such as TikTok has allowed them to cross 12 million downloads and they now receive about 1.2 M uploads in a single day with 400K+ new content creators. Trell’s main audience comprises regional consumers across the country with over 62% of users belonging to tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
They currently have a total funding of $16.95 million endorsed by Sequoia Surge, Fosun RZ Capital, KTB Network, Beenext, LetsVenture, WEH Ventures, Sprout Ventures, Samsung Ventures and angel investors like Ankur Nagpal (CEO of Teachable), Gokul Rajaram (Board Member, Pinterest, Square, DoorDash), and Vineet Buch (former Head of Google Play Store Development).
Angels from LetsVenture first invested in Trell back in December 2016 and LetsVenture participated in the latest funding round as well doubling down on the belief in the team and product. In this edition of #LVStartup Stories, we tune into Pulkit as he shares the inspiration, growth, and vision for Trell, his biggest learnings as an entrepreneur, and his experience in fundraising with LetsVenture.
Here’s the video: