The firm claims Josh to have already reached a monthly active user base of over 77 million besides having nearly 36 million daily active users.
Josh was launched following India’s ban on Chinese short-video app TikTok. (Image: Josh/ file)
VerSe Innovation that owns Dailyhunt on Tuesday said that it has raised over $100 million in funding from Google, Microsoft and Alphawave. The investment values the company at more than $1 billion, making it the “first unicorn in tech for local languages”. Existing investors Sofina Group and Lupa Systems also participated in the financial round.
The bulk of the funding will be used to build on the growth of the company’s short video platform Josh. The firm claims Josh to have already reached a monthly active user base of over 77 million besides having nearly 36 million daily active users. The video app that offers content in 12 local languages sees about 1.5 billion video plays every day.
Josh was launched following India’s ban on Chinese short-video app TikTok. The capital will be deployed to augment Josh’s content offerings, develop content creator ecosystem and innovate in AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning), VerSe Innovation said in a statement.
“This solid business foundation and capital infusion now set the company on a path of rapid growth, as it explores other international geographies to extend its broad-based tech platforms in serving similar unmet content needs of local language audiences globally,” the firm said.
VerSe Innovation counts Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Goldman Sachs as its other investors. Its content and news aggregator platform Dailyhunt offer services in 14 local languages and reaches 300 million users. Dailyhunt had raised about Rs 25 crore from a clutch of investors in September 2019.
In a separate blog post, Google said the investment underlines its strong belief in partnering with India’s innovative startups and commitment to working towards the shared goal of building an inclusive digital economy that will benefit everyone.