Homegrown micro-blogging site Koo, which has gained momentum amid the ongoing standoff between the government and Twitter, is "led by a truly Indian investor," clarified its co-founder and chief executive Aprameya Radhakrishna.
Clearing the air on the platform's safety, Aprameya said that a Chinese firm called Shunwei, which is a single-digit shareholder in Vokal, a vernacular question and answer sharing app owned by the same company that runs Koo "will be exiting fully."
"Koo is an India registered company with Indian founders. Raised earlier capital 2.5 years ago. Latest funds for Bombinate Technologies is led by a truly Indian investor 3one4 capital. Shunwei (single digit shareholder) which had invested in our Vokal journey will be exiting fully," Aprameya tweeted.
Koo is an India registered company with Indian founders. Raised earlier capital 2.5 years ago. Latest funds for Bombinate Technologies is led by a truly Indian investor 3one4 capital. Shunwei (single digit shareholder) which had invested in our Vokal journey will be exiting fully— Aprameya R (@aprameya) February 10, 2021
Vokal had raised funds from China-based Shunwei Capital in 2018. Both Koo and Vokal are owned and operated by parent company Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd. Koo, which has witnessed around three million downloads in the last 24 hours or so, has been touted as an Indian alternative to Twitter.
However, a French security researcher has claimed that the platform is not very safe and is currently leaking a lot of sensitive user information comprising, date of birth, name, gender, name, and email ids etc.
French cybersecurity researcher Robert Baptiste, famously known as Elliott Alderson on Twitter, said that he looked at Koo and found that it is leaking some user data.
"You asked so I did it. I spent 30 min on dis new Koo app. The app is leaking of the personal data of his users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender, ... (sic)," Alderson tweeted.
You asked so I did it. I spent 30 min on this new Koo app. The app is leaking of the personal data of his users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender, ... https://t.co/87Et18MrOgpic.twitter.com/qzrXeFBW0L— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) February 10, 2021
Reacting to this claim, Koo said, "Users enter their profile data on the app to be shared with others on the platform. That's what's displayed everywhere across the platform. While there have been false allegations of a data leak, it's just commonly called the public profile page for all users to view!"
Meanwhile, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Parliament on Thursday that stern action will be taken if social media is misused to spread fake news and encourage hate and violence.
"Whether it's Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or WhatsApp, they are welcome to work in India. They have crores of followers, but they will have to adhere to the Indian Constitution and laws," he said.
"If social media is used to spread fake news and misinformation. We will take action," he stated, adding that "we have made a platform to bust misinformation and all fake news items will be flagged by the system."