Way2News will deploy funds to expand its user base across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala
Founded in 2015 by Raju Vanapala, Way2News provides short format news in eight vernacular languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Bangla, and Gujrathi
Way2News has a vast network of over 30,000 reporters that contribute 5000 stories on a monthly basis to the platform
Hyperlocal news app Way2News has raised $16.75 Mn through equity financing in its Series A funding round at a post-money valuation of $60 Mn. The round saw participation from Westbridge Capital and Sashi Reddi.
Way2News will deploy the funds to expand its user base across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. Further, the funds will be used to hire talent for editorial, sales and marketing teams and also, invest in tech infrastructure.
Founded in 2015 by Raju Vanapala, the Hyderabad-based news platform provides short format news in eight vernacular languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Bangla, and Gujrathi to users. As per its LinkedIn page, it offers news in categories including business, sports, politics, technology, and entertainment.
The news portal startup claims to run a wide network of over 30,000 reporters that contribute 5000 stories to the platform on a monthly basis.
It further claims to have more than 8 Bn monthly screen views and monthly active users to daily active users ratio of over 50%
India’s Digital Media Startups On A Roll
India’s digital news space has outgrown in recent years with the surging internet penetration in Tier-1, 2 and 3 cities coupled with increased smartphone usages. Owing to these factors, offline media is losing its sheen while digital news media is steadily gaining prominence among users.
According to a report, India’s online media industry was estimated to be over INR 30,000 Cr in 2021. The industry is poised to grow to INR 53,700 Cr by 2024.
In the news aggregation space, Way2News faces competition from InShorts, Dailyhunt and Feedly.
In June, the vernacular news platform Dailyhunt’s parent VerSe Innovations saw an exit of the Chinese investor ByteDance at a discount of 56%. ByteDance sold its stake to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Prior to this, Dailyhunt’s parent company VerSe Innovation secured $805 Mn at a post-money valuation of $5 Bn. The round saw participation from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Luxor Capital and Sumeru Ventures and existing investors Sofina Group and Baillie Gifford.
On the other hand, Noida-based news app InShorts reportedly secured about $100 Mn in the previous year to back its hyperlocal app, Public. In essence, Public provides news-related videos to users and also informs them about events that are happening in a city or location.