Digital media platform Dailyhunt and short video app Josh’s parent VerSe Innovation has acquired GolBol — a Made-in-India social networking app.
Incepted in December 2019, Mumbai-based GolBol was started with the aim to help people make relevant and meaningful connections based on interests, faith, kinship, occupation, and so on. The app has over 5 Mn+ downloads on Google Playstore.
Post the acquisition, VerSe will bring on board GolBol’s entire team including cofounders Shanu Vivek, Karandeep Singh Gujral and Kaushik Mahato to help accelerate the work being done to modernise and multiply the impact of Josh.
The GolBol team will focus their efforts on enhancing Josh Cam, a mobile video editing app designed exclusively for users and creators of the short-video ecosystem, said the company statement.
The team will also drive efficiencies in AI & ML to build UGC discovery initiatives that have the power to detect quality content from a stream of several thousand videos and classify these videos at scale so that users on Josh avail the latest, most unique and authentic content experiences, it added.
Launched in August 2020, the short-video app Josh has recorded over 100 Mn downloads on the Play Store, and has more than 115 Mn Monthly Active Users.
The ban on TikTok last year triggered a wave of new Indian short video apps, which saw huge traction. Besides Josh, which was launched in July 2020, Sharechat, Chingari and InMobi’s Roposo, MX TakaTak also came up to bridge the demand gap.
According to a RedSeer Management Consulting report, India’s short video market is estimated to grow by 4x on the total time spent and reach 400-450 Bn minutes a month in the next five years (2020-2025) from the current 110 Bn minutes.
In August, VerSe Innovation raised over $450 Mn in a Series I funding round led by Siguler Guff, Baillie Gifford and Carlyle Asia Partners and others.
Founded by Virendra Gupta in 2007, VerSe Innovation, a B2B company, catered to telcos and mostly provided SMS alerts on jobs, property, matrimony, news and education subscribers across India, Bangladesh and Africa.
It decided to enter the B2C game in 2011 when it acquired Eterno Infotech, founded by Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni. Eterno Infotech launched Newshunt in 2009, which was rebranded as Dailyhunt in 2015.
In March this year, VerSe acquired Vebbler, which is an interest-based photo and video sharing app.