VerSe Innovation in India raises more than $450 Million to expand Globally, Dailyhunt and Josh Apps

VerSe Innovation, the parent firm of popular news aggregator Dailyhunt and short video app Josh, said on Thursday it has raised over $450 million in a new financing round, just five months after securing $200 million, as the Indian startup looks to expand its offerings to international markets.

Siguler Guff and Baillie Gifford and affiliates of Carlyle Asia Partners Growth II, as well as other investors, funded VerSe Innovation’s Series I round. Existing investors Sofina Group and Qatar Investment Authority participated.

VerSe Innovation stated in a statement, that the startup’s valuation had more than doubled over the last five months. However, it did not disclose a specific figure. In its Series H financing round, the startup was valued over $1 billion.

Google- and Microsoft-backed Startup Josh claimed Josh has over 115,000,000 monthly active users. 56 Million of these people use the app every day. Dailyhunt claims it has more than 300 million active monthly users.

Josh has competed with scores of video apps, including Moj or MX TakaTak. All these apps mushroomed after India banned TikTok over cybersecurity concerns in mid-2020 to cash in on the opportunity. ByteDance identified India as the largest international market and had attracted over 200 active users monthly.

Moj, which claims to have over 100 million users, is operated by Tiger Global-backed ShareChat that was valued at $2.88 billion in a financing round it unveiled last month. According to three sources, MX TakaTak’s parent company MX Player is currently seeking investors in order to raise more than $1 billion for the startup.

VerSe Innovation plans to build a suite of apps in dozens of languages. Dailyhunt offers content in over 100 languages, thanks to its more than 100,000 creators and content partners. VerSe Innovation stated that Dailyhunt plans to continue this strategy in order to grow internationally.

According to the startup, it plans to also invest in expanding its AI/ML stack and offering users a more personal experience.

This new fundraising comes as Indian startup founders are raising record amounts of capital from prominent investors. India is now the second-largest internet market in the world, with over 20 unicorns being created this year. This compares to 11 and 6 last year. Some investors are also doubling down on South Asian markets after China. This is a rare market that produces big growth and has produced over 20 unicorns this year.

It is still a story in progress. There will be more to come.

Publited at Thu 12 August 2021, 05:11.20 +0000

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