Business

Grammarly gets $110m funding, India pushes for regional content

10 May 2017 | By Anish Chakraborty
Grammarly funded to fix grammar, India goes regional

Being a grammar Nazi is apparently a big business as Grammarly which aims to provide "mistake-free writing every time", managed to secure a massive $110m funding from venture capital firms.

India, which has a known tryst with English, is, however, going the other way by showing its affinity for regional languages when it comes to online content.

Here's how things went topsy-turvy.

In context: Grammarly funded to fix grammar, India goes regional

10 May 2017Grammarly gets $110m funding, India pushes for regional content

Grammar mistakesFixing grammar is a lucrative business

Grammarly was started by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn in 2009 and uses advanced software that makes use of spell-checking and plagiarism detection tools to provide error-free sentences to 6.9 million users.

Grammarly says it is "the world's most accurate online grammar checker," and now VCs such as General Catalyst and Spark Capital have doled in $110m to make every grammar mistake count.

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India pushes for more regional content online

Regional languagesIndia pushes for more regional content online

Although India has 125 million English speakers, making it second only to the US, a large part of Indian audience still banks on the regional languages when it comes to trust.

A joint study by KPMG and Google discovered that more than 70% of Indians find news or content written in their local language more reliable than English when it comes to online content.

HindiStudy reveals the clear winner

KPMG and Google research says that by 2021, there would be 201 million Hindi content-surfing users, which would make up 38% of the entire Indian online user base; Marathi, Bengali, and Tamil would have 9%, 8%, and 6% respectively.

The study expects regional language user-base to grow at a rate of 18% while English language users will grow by 3% in the coming years.

Non-English speakersGoogle's top honcho says, "English is over"

Google VP Rajan Anandan said to TOI, "English is over. There are only 200 million Indians who are proficient in English and they are already on the Internet."

Moreover, "Almost every new user that is coming online- roughly nine out of ten- are not proficient in English. So, it's fair to say that almost all the growth of usage is coming from non-English users."

Regional contentsLack of regional contents online

It is evident that regional languages are going to drive India's spectrum in the coming days; as Internet and smartphones become more affordable, the volume will increase, but the lack of regional content needs fixing.

Google VP, Rajan said "The consumption in local languages is going to be explosive. However, there is not enough content which is being created right now."