Josh, which was launched in its beta phase on July 4, has garnered more than 10 Mn downloads on Google Play Store
Currently, the app is ranked No 1 on the Google Play Store in the ‘top free’ category
While Indian short video sharing apps Josh, Moj and MX TakaTak are positioned as ‘Made in India’ alternatives to Chinese app TikTok, their parent companies have all attracted investment from Chinese companies
Indian content and news aggregator application Dailyhunt, on Wednesday (September 9), formally launched its ‘Made in India’ short video sharing application Josh.
Josh — launched in its beta phase on July 4 — has been one of the most significant gainers after India banned TikTok, along with 58 other Chinese apps on June 29. The app has since garnered more than 10 Mn downloads on the Google Play Store. Dailyhunt announced that Josh has partnered with four mega music labels in T-Series, Sony, Zee Music and Divo Music. Moreover, in the last 45 days of its beta phase, Josh attained the 50 Mn downloads mark, stitched partnerships with 200 exclusive content creators on its platform, helping it attract 23 Mn daily active users (DAUs), 21+ minutes time spent per DAU and over 5 Mn independent content creators.
“Josh is a mahagathbandhan (mega confluence) of the country’s best creators, the biggest music labels, the hottest entertainment format, formidable user demographics and the largest local language platform! It is truly Made in India, for India and by Indians, also offered in 10 Indian languages,” said Umang Bedi, cofounder of Dailyhunt.
Dailyhunt is a local language content platform. It claims to offer more than 1 Mn new content pieces every day in 14 languages. The content on Dailyhunt is licensed and sourced from over 50,000 content partners and a deep pool of individual creators. The company’s mission is to be “the Indic platform empowering a billion Indians to discover, consume, and socialise with content that informs, enriches, and entertains.”
‘Made In India’ But Chinese-Funded Short Video Apps
The ‘Made in India’ tag has become relevant for short video sharing applications positioned as alternatives to Chinese app TikTok. Amid rising scrutiny in India over the data sharing policies of Chinese companies and bans placed on several of their popular mobile applications, their Indian counterparts are trying to capitalise on the void in the market, as well as the nationalist sentiment prevalent in the country. The ‘Made in India’ tag has also been added to the title of Josh’s listing on the Play Store.
It is worth noting that Dailyhunt raised funds from Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance in April 2020. The Series G funding round, reported exclusively by Inc42, was worth INR 180 Cr ($24.5 Mn) and led by Falcon Edge Capital and saw participation from the company’s existing investors, one of them being ByteDance.
According to data on Crunchbase, Dailyhunt also raised funds from ByteDance in a secondary market round in November 2019. Although, the amount of funds raised then is not known. Back in 2016, ByteDance was the lead investor in Dailyhunt’s Series D funding round worth $25 Mn (INR 183.5 Cr).
Dailyhunt’s Josh’s closest competitors in the short video sharing space are Indian social media company ShareChat-owned Moj, and Times Internet-owned MX Player’s MX TakaTak. As of September 10, the three applications are ruling the roost in the ‘top free’ category on the Google Play Store. While Josh is ranked No 1, MX TakaTak is ranked No 2 and Moj is ranked No 3. MX TakaTak, launched on July 9, has more than 10 Mn downloads on the Play Store, while Moj, launched on June 29, has more than 50 Mn downloads.
Interestingly, both Moj and MX TakaTak are also looking to cash in on the appeal of the ‘Made in India’ tag, and have added the same to the title of their listing on the Play Store. The parent companies of both applications have also raised investment from Chinese companies in the past. ShareChat counts Chinese venture capital fund Shunwei Capital and electronics and software company Xiaomi as its investors. Times Internet-owned MX Player raised its Series A round, worth $110.8 Mn last year, with Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent Holdings as the lead investor.