Do you remember the days when you were a part of a Facebook confession page, where you would share your life experiences? It may be about your workplace, family, college, or anything. You used to pour your heart out on those pages.
Now imagine, you and your boss are on the same page, and you unknowingly confess some not-so-good thing about your boss. That guy reads your confession, and what happens to you the next day?
You are smart enough to guess!
What if I tell you there is a platform where you can write anything you want, whatever you feel, while maintaining your anonymity? Will you agree to post there? I don’t know about you, but I would use that platform to write out my feelings.
Meet the “Hood” app, India’s first pseudonymous platform, where you can write anything without revealing who you are.
Spooky, right? Let’s dive deeper into the topic and find out more about this intriguing platform.
Zorro: The Anonymous Hero
Have you seen the 1988’s American film, “The Mask of Zorro”?
You may have heard about it but might not have seen it. Zorro was the name of the mysterious entity that fought against the Spanish during the Mexican War of Independence. He defended Mexican peasants and commoners from the corrupt governor. What’s most fascinating about this brave hero is that he did all this while maintaining his anonymity.
You must be wondering how we reached onto war stories while talking about an anonymous social networking site. That’s because the Hood app was previously named Zorro inspired by the above tale.
Jasveer Singh, Abhishek Asthana and Deepak Kumar started Zorro Internet Private Limited with a vision to promote free speech in the cloak of anonymity. Even though the idea of being anonymous is not new for social networking sites, creating a platform that is completely anonymous is quite innovative. Abhishek Asthana realised the need for an anonymous social platform when he used to write anonymously on Twitter under the name Gabbar Singh. The other co-founder, Jasveer Singh has worked with multiple companies, whereas Deepak Kumar has an engineering background and is currently serving as the CTO for the platform.
The Hood is similar to Twitter except for being pseudonymous. Similar to Zorro, the masked hero, the platform aims to provide people with a space where they are free to express themselves. Moreover, they will not have any fear of being harassed or publicly criticised on social media. According to the founders, everything is on social media, and we are exposed to it. We are judged, criticised, bullied, or trolled whenever we post anything or share our opinion. But with the Hood, you will not be bullied, harassed or trolled. The app’s most exciting feature is the anonymous groups. You can make college and company groups and express your opinion without anyone knowing your identity.
How It Works?
As the CEO of Hood claimed, anonymity is a curse; it gives people the licence to bad behaviour. Due to this, multiple social media platforms had to shut down after bullying and fake news became harder to control. Hood counters these problems, as the platform is not entirely anonymous. Instead, you can connect with people in your contacts and interact using a pseudonymous name.
The founders wanted to build a platform that is more like Twitter, where the frequency of the posts matters. Hence, in the hood, your feed is constantly getting updated. While signing up, you would be required to provide your mobile number and select a pseudonym. You may also connect your profile to Twitter.
The best part is that all the posts on the Hood are posted under your pseudonymous name, and no one can reach you directly. The content on the Hood is moderated through a “Sensitive Content” disclaimer.
The Shark Tank
Hood gained popularity when it was aired in the second season of Shark Tank. In the fortieth episode, the three founders asked for INR 1.2 Crores for 0.2% equity of the company valuing it at INR 600 crores. The founders claimed that the users’ data are encrypted using 256-bit encryption techniques, At that time, the app had over 7.7 lakhs users. The app has around 2.4 lakh active users, and around 6,000 posts are posted daily. Moreover, about 1,800 new threads are created on the platform every day. Shark Aman Gupta and Peyush Bansal made a combined offer of INR 60 lacs for 0.54% equity of the company and INR 60 lacs debt at a 12% interest rate at a valuation of 112 crores.
Recently, Hood raised $3.2 million in a seed funding round led by VC firms 3one4 Capital and 9Unicorn Ventures. The company also has backing from some notable investors such as Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO of Paytm; Kunal Shah, CEO of CRED; Ritesh Aggarwal, CEO of OYO and many more.
The world has become smaller with the advancement of technology and social media. You think multiple times before posting content, as what you post impacts your relationship with your friends, families, neighbours and colleagues. Hood eliminates this issue by giving you the power of pseudonymity. Students, teachers, workers, entrepreneurs, basically everyone can write anything without worrying about its consequences. No one will be able to track, hurt, bully, or identify you. It could beat the monopoly of Twitter and even challenge Meta. Thus, if you are worried about what your boss might do if he reads your confession about the workplace, you don’t need to worry; just Hood it.