Vernacular short news app, Way2News on Thursday announced it has raised $16.75 million in its Series A round from WestBridge Capital and from venture capitalist Sashi Reddi. This also marks WestBridge Capital’s debut investment in the media and entertainment space in India, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
These funds will be used to expand Way2News’ user base across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala also spend on hiring teams in editorial, sales, marketing and scaling their artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology to minimise human intervention while delivering news.
The portal also allows verified stringers to write and contribute regularly, making it a de-facto platform for citizen journalists.
“At a time when existing social media and news syndication platforms may falter to find reliable local news, Way2News has cracked the code, enabling users to find credible news from small towns and villages while ensuring depth of coverage. Our mobile-first, crowdsourced news platform, coupled with smarter AI-based quality checks, is revolutionary and sustainable,” said Raju Vanapala, founder and chief executive officer.
The portal claims to have clocked over 8 billion monthly screen views and a monthly active users (MAU) and daily average users (DAU) ratio of over 50%.
“Way2News has shown a remarkable ability to scale and grow capital efficiently. Their user acquisition approach, engagement, and retention rates are unique and best-in-class in the industry. Their focus on providing delightful experiences to users and passion to make Way2News the largest vernacular platform excites us, and we look forward to a long partnership with them,” said Sumir Chadha, co-founder and managing director, WestBridge Capital.