News and content aggregator Dailyhunt has become India’s first tech unicorn focused on vernacular content after raising $100 Mn funding from Google, Microsoft and Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation at a unicorn valuation. Existing investors Sofina Group and Lupa Systems also participated in this round.
Dailyhunt will use this funding to scale up its recently launched short video app Josh, further develop its content creator ecosystem and double down on its artificial intelligence and machine learning push for content discovery and recommendations.
The company has raised about $240 Mn till date. Earlier this year, the company raised about $10 Mn (INR 73 Cr) in primary capital from B Capital. It planned to use the funding to rework its ownership structure after the Indian government reiterated its decision of capping the foreign investment for digital media entities at 26% by October 2021.
Launched in 2009 by Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni, Newshunt began as a news aggregator. It was acquired by jobs classified company Ver Se Innovation in 2012. Later in August 2015, NewsHunt rebranded itself to Dailyhunt to offer news in vernacular languages.
Dailyhunt claimed to have over 1,300 publication partners, 250K news and content pieces every day in 14 languages, as of April 2020. It aggregates content from newspapers and websites in multiple Indian regional languages, including Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Bhojpuri.
The group claims to have more than 263 Mn monthly active users across all platforms, with 208 Mn monthly active users on its app. The company has over 500 employees.
The company decided to expands its offerings to include short video platform Josh, after the Indian government decided to ban all Chinese alternatives like TikTok, Likee, Vigo and others. with all the big players from the market gone, there was a huge market waiting to be captured by the Indian market.
Launched in its beta phase on July 4, Josh garnered more than 50 Mn downloads mark within the first 45 days. The company also managed to stitch partnerships with 200 exclusive content creators on its platform, helping it attract 36 Mn daily active users (DAUs) and 77 Mn monthly active users (MAU), with 1.5 Bn+ video plays per day.