Chinese conglomerate Alibaba is reportedly planning to acquire a minority stake in Dailyhunt, a news and e-books app.
A report quoting people familiar with the development stated that Alibaba has already proposed a valuation of $500 Mn for Dailyhunt. However, Dailyhunt is looking for other funding options too.
Alibaba is said to be looking for a minority stake of 10%-12% in the Bengaluru-based startup.
Both the companies declined to comment to Mint.
The Story Of Dailyhunt
Launched in 2009 by former Nokia employees Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni, NewsHunt was acquired by Verse in 2012. In August 2015 NewsHunt rebranded itself as DailyHunt. It has raised a series of investments from investors like Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge Capital, Matrix Partners, Omidyar Network, and Darby Overseas Investments.
Dailyhunt is a News and local language content application with over 155 Mn app installs offering 100,000 news articles in 14 languages licensed from over 800 publication partners every day. The group has 50+ Mn users spending over six billion minutes on the app every month.
In January, the company launched its news-in-brief app, Newzly, for android users. Dailyhunt has also launched other products such as its progressive web app Dailyhunt Lite (November 2017). Also, it has partnered with Vuclip and YuppTV to offer original videos and Live TV on its platform.
In 2016, Dailyhunt raised $25Mn from (INR 168 Cr) in a new round of funding led by China’s Bytedance.
The company claims to have an annual revenue rate of about $15 Mn (INR 100 Cr) and aims to capture 6%-7% of the $4 Bn digital advertising market in the next four years.
Alibaba Explores Indian Market
The Chinese major has been aggressively exploring its avenues in Indian market with various investments in ecommerce, entertainment companies amongst others.
In February itself, Alibaba invested $200 Mn in Indian foodtech unicorn Zomato. At the same time, Alibaba also led $300 Mn Series E funding in hyperlocal grocery delivery company BigBasket.
Prior to that, Alibaba invested $35 Mn (INR 224 Cr) in Pune-based logistics company XpressBees.
The group has been planning to score the best in the hottest sectors i.e. digital payments (Paytm), ecommerce (Paytm Mall) and logistics (XpressBees).
Starting from Paytm ($1 Bn), the Chinese conglomerate has placed its bid into Indian ventures such as Paytm Mall ($175 Mn), Snapdeal ($150 Mn), BigBasket ($300 Mn)and TicketNew ($30 Mn).
Amid these investments, the total investment of Alibaba in India has reached around $2.2 Bn.
A report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said that the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry would nearly double in size to $123 Bn (INR 8 Tn) by 2022, clocking 11-12% CAGR between 2016 and 2022.
If plans of Alibaba to acquire a stake in Dailyhunt go through, the Bengaluru-based startup will be something to keep a watch on.
[The development was reported by LiveMint]