BharatFirst Technologies, the parent company of spiritual lifestyle app Paavan, today announced that it has raised US$ 500K (approximately 4 Crore) in a seed round of funding, led by Waterbridge Ventures. Several prominent angel investors also participated in the round, including IndiaQuotient General Partner Anand Lunia, Fitso co-founder Saurabh Aggarwal, Giva co-founder Ishendra Agarwal, Animall co-founder Kirti Jangra, Credgencies co-founder Rishabh Goel, and Gocomet co-founder Chitransh Sahai.
BharatFirst said that it will use the funds raised to further enhance the product, create exclusive content IPs and hire talent across functions and verticals. The startup was founded in 2021 by IIT Delhi alumni Sankalp Jain, Nitin Agrawal and Mohit Mittal.
Launched eight months ago, Paavan is a video-first content app that aims to act as a lifestyle guide for people in their quest to live a balanced and fulfilling life. The app’s content is based on frameworks rooted in India’s traditional knowledge systems and is derived from India’s rich ancient knowledge, sciences and spiritual practices.
Sankalp Jain, co-founder of Paavan said, “Today, we are thrilled to announce the backing of such marquee investors for the next stage of our growth, as we reaffirm our mission to make Bharat’s knowledge accessible to a whole generation of Indians and help them live better lives by reconnecting with their roots. Leveraging technology and immersive experiences, we plan to deliver seemingly complex knowledge in a simplified way for the masses.”
Paavan has already registered over 300,000 downloads on Google Play and counts more than 100,000 monthly active users. The app is designed to provide practical applications of these concepts for self-improvement or solving personal or professional conflicts, like improving concentration using Yog Sutra, or enhancing leadership skills using Arthashastra.
“Paavan was launched with a belief that the Bhartiya way of life offers a universally applicable framework to live a spiritually and emotionally fulfilling life, in close harmony with community and nature. We are glad to see that this belief resonates with so many people as evidenced in the growing user base of Paavan app,” Sankalp added. “The high engagement levels on the app demonstrate that people are interested in demystifying these knowledge systems.”
While the western world has for long been proactively learning from the ancient Indian knowledge to lead a spiritual lifestyle, Indians are now demonstrating greater confidence in their cultural identity as they seek to connect with their roots. The Paavan app helps anchor their lifestyles into wisdom derived from ancient learnings.
“The unbundling of Youtube will continue to lead to emergence of verticalized players which are focussed, custom-built for their target audiences and can have much better engagement. Paavan is uniquely positioned to take advantage of a growing need to live a more aware and balanced life, along with a near-universal smartphone and high-speed mobile Internet penetration in the country. We are really impressed with their tech-first approach, and the founding team’s vision for the platform and the scale that can be achieved, and are therefore excited to come on board and get a ringside view of their next stage of growth.” said Ashish Jain, Partner at Waterbridge Ventures.
Going forward, Paavan aims to strengthen its content library for people of all age groups and cultural backgrounds. It is also working to produce videos in more Indian languages. The app currently offers Hindi-language content.