Pepper Content, a content marketplace that connects global brands like Google, Meta, Amazon and Adobe to more than 100,000 creators, has raised $14.3 million in a new funding round as it plans to expand into the United States.
Bessemer Venture Partners led the Indian startup’s Series A funding round. Tanglin Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Titan Capital and angel investors including Gokul Rajaram, Ritesh Agarwal, Abhinav Sinha, Ankur Nagpal, Dheeraj Pandey, Ashish Gupta and Kunal Shah also participated in the new round, which brings all time of the startup. increase to around $19 million.
Pepper Content helps businesses identify and work with licensed professionals for their content marketing needs.
Anirudh Singla, co-founder and managing director of Pepper Content, started the business in his college dorm while studying at BITS Pilani. Singla identified white space when looking to earn passive income to support his education, he said in an interview with TechCrunch.
“As a creator, I only created 30 to 40% of the time. I spent the rest of the time offering ridiculously low prices,” he said.
The platforms in place were not tailor-made with local nuances, but Singla said it was clear there was huge demand for content as the arrival of telecom operator Jio Platforms, which undermined rivals with cheap mobile data rates, had suddenly expanded the market to hundreds of millions of users waiting to be served.
Pepper says the creators of its platform must go through rigorous testing and vetting processes, a factor that has helped the startup improve and retain the quality of talent it provides to clients. Companies that have used Pepper keep coming back with more work, Singla said.
And the list of corporate clients has also swelled in recent quarters, he said. Pepper Content works with over 2,500 clients, including startups such as CRED and Groww, and over 1,000 companies which include Big Tech as well as Adani Enterprises, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC Bank, Tata Capital and Binance.
“We want to make this platform a superpower for brands and creators alike. The last talent revolution that came out of India was Infosys, TCS for technology talent in the 1990s. Pepper Content is here to unleash the next by enabling high quality creative and marketing talent to access opportunities world,” said Rishabh Shekhar, co-founder and COO of Pepper.
The startup is reporting 8 million in annualized revenue and plans to expand to the United States in the coming weeks, Singla said. Pepper has also expanded its services to include video content, graphic design and translation work in recent quarters.
“Pepper’s value proposition of being the scalable partner to businesses worldwide for producing high-quality, on-demand, on-budget content has really caught on. Additionally, we believe Pepper’s SaaS offering to help creators and businesses create, collaborate and drive content operations has found strong market resonance in the US and globally,” said Dev. Khare, partner at Lightspeed India, in a statement.