Dailyhunt & Josh apps parent company raises $ 805 million to $ 5 billion – TechCrunch

VerSe Innovation, the parent company of news gathering processor Dailyhunt and short video app Josh, said on Wednesday that it had raised $ 805 million, at a time when many startups were struggling to raise capital.

Creating one of the nation’s largest adtech businesses and launching business through its applications, the new round is worth nearly $ 5 billion, up from $ 3 billion eight months ago, its co-founders said. TechCrunch in an interview.

Round – A Series J – Guided by the Canada Pension Scheme Investment Board (CPP Investments), it is the largest investment to date in the region. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Scheme Board (Ontario Teachers), Luxor Capital and Sumeru Ventures and existing supporters Sofina Group and Bailey Keyford also took part in the round.

The new round – the biggest in the Indian startup environment this year (surpassing Baiju’s $ 800 million) – is raising around $ 2 billion (with some secondary transactions) all the time on VerSe Innovation. The start-up says it raised capital only after receiving numerous incoming incentives, and that the new capital, along with existing reserves, provides a runway “for many years”.

VerSe Innovation, one of the sponsors of Google and Microsoft, currently runs three popular applications that have long been considered non-monetary in small Indian cities and towns, redesigning their snack and information content and the way they delight. When customers find a business model to support such an endeavor.

Josh, its short video app, has amassed more than 150 million users, 50 million of whom create and publish content. The processor, which has partnered with 15 music labels, launches more than 80 billion games in its use each month, according to the startup.

Thanks to these figures, the startup says Josh is a clear market leader. It competes with some applications, including YouTube, Instagram, Inmobi Group Unit Clans and the affiliate company of video apps for ShareSat and MX Player.

India’s ban on TikTok in mid-2020 prompted many Indian startups to launch their own short video applications. But most of them have been shut down or pivoted.

VerSe Innovation co-founders Umang Bedi and Virender Gupta. Bedi was the head of Facebook India before joining Dailyhunt. Image Assistance: VerSe innovation

Dailyhunt, a news aggregator utility with a Creator ecosystem that runs in 15 languages ​​and has over 100,000 content partners, has over 350 million users, while PublicVibe, the launch app’s recently launched app, now serves more than 5 million active users.

Feeding users outside of urban Indian cities is its own achievement. Umang Bedi, co-founder of VerSe Innovation, said in an interview with TechCrunch that the startup needs to create its own adtech business in order to create a greater economic sense for all its shareholders, including the company’s growing creative universe.

“One data point I can share with you is that there are 400 advertisers in India with whom we have full-funnel integration with their third-party mobile measurement sites,” he said.

“How do we adjust first-party billing and third-party billing data to actually run performance campaigns? We do not rely on specific advertisers. 50% of our advertisers are companies and the rest are small businesses across tier 2, 3 and 4 across India,” said Bedi, who previously served as India’s head of India.

Another monetary bet that works for Josh is the influence-led business. Many of the creators on its platform sell products of popular brands – sometimes with their own unique labels – on the platform.

“We have an influential person who sells a wide variety of spices in use. He is very popular in Mumbai,” he said.

“We make Curated Lives, which are targeted shopping feeds, and make existing videos shop-friendly. With the ability to use technology to demonstrate the e-commerce area, it shows that we can play a meaningful role in social-business and India’s broader e-commerce perspective. Because we already have engaged consumers, ”he added.

The startup is now also exploring ways to adapt web3 to expand its monetization capabilities, he said. Bedi declined to release details on how VerSe plans to tackle the world of tokens and NFTs or identify the blockchain it uses, but said the startup’s efforts will be clear in a few months.

VerSe plans to continue to focus on serving users in the Indian home market and has ample opportunities in the country and plans to make its applications more attractive to users by utilizing new capital to expand its AI and ML capabilities, said Virendra Gupta, co-founder of VerSe.

It also works on many new applications, he added.

“The family of our apps will definitely grow, but I can not give you a number yet,” Bedi joked.

“Digital content in India is growing exponentially and VerSe Innovation is well established as one of the leaders in fast growing short video and local language content,” said Frank Su, Managing Director and Chairman, CPP Investments, Private Equity Asia. , In a statement.

“This investment is in line with our approach to providing strategic capital to industry leaders in India’s technology sector. We look forward to supporting the next phase of VerSe Innovation’s development journey, which we hope will provide strong risk-adjusted returns to CPP funding.

Leave a Comment