VerSe Innovation, the parent firm of popular news and entertainment app Dailyhunt and short video app Josh, disclosed it has raised over $100 million as part of a Series H financing round from Qatar Investment Authority and Glade Brook Capital Partners.
The announcement follows another $100 million+ investment the startup secured from Google, AlphaWave, and Microsoft in December last year. That tranche of investment, also part of Series H, had turned Dailyhunt into a unicorn (giving it a valuation of $1 billion or higher). The startup has to-date raised about $430 million.
Dailyhunt, co-run by Virendra Gupta and former Facebook India head Umang Bedi, is a popular news and entertainment app that serves more than 285 million users each day in 14 local languages in India. Its reach in India, the world’s second largest internet market, would explain why Twitter last month partnered with the Indian firm to bring Moments to Dailyhunt.
VerSe Innovation expanded to short form videos last year, with Josh, after New Delhi banned TikTok and created a theoretical void for snacking content in the country. Scores of large giants and startups
Now the startup says it is exploring expansion into more categories and like with Dailyhunt and Josh, cater users in smaller cities and towns and eventually replicate this model in international markets.
India’s internet economy is expected to be worth $639 billion by 2030, analysts at Citi wrote in a report to clients late last month. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated digital adoption and users’ appetite to transact online, a report from analysts at UBS said last week.