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Omidyar Network backs Indian self-publishing platform Pratilipi

Ninety percent of India’s 1.2 billion people read, write and speak only their native language, but the overwhelming majority of online content available to them is in English.

Pratilipi allows users to self-publish books, essays and stories in eight Indian languages. More than 150,000 items have been published on the site by 22,000 users. “We started Pratilipi with the vision that language should not be a barrier for people to share their stories with each other,” founder Ranjeet Pratap Singh says.

Omidyar led Pratilipi’s $4.3 million Series A round, in which Nexus Venture Partners, Contrarian Capital, Times Internet, Shunwei Capital and WEH Ventures also participated.

The investment fits in with a spate of civic tech and new media investments Omidyar has recently made, including programs like the Latin American Alliance for Civic Technology, the South African Media Innovation Program and individual grants and investments to The Bristol Cable and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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