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Dailyhunt, Josh parent VerSe Innovation raises $805M at $5B valuation

VerSe Innovation — the local language technology platform and parent of content and news aggregator Dailyhunt and short video app Josh — on Wednesday said it has raised USD 805 million (over Rs 6,070 crore) in latest funding rounds from marquee global investors.

With this, its valuation has reached a whopping USD 5 billion.

In a statement, VerSe Innovation said CPP Investments led the funding round with USD 425 million investment, while other prominent investors included Ontario Teachers’, Luxor Capital and Sumeru Ventures.

Existing investors Sofina Group, Baillie Gifford and others will also participate north of their pro-rata in this round, resulting in VerSe Innovation’s valuation reaching USD 5 billion.

VerSe Innovation’s proprietary technology platform serves one out of every two internet users in the country across ‘Josh’, short video platform and ‘Dailyhunt’, local language content platform coupled with ‘PublicVibe’, hyper local video platform, it said.

According to the statement, VerSe Innovation, India’s biggest local language technology platform, has raised and signed definitive documents for USD 805 million in latest funding rounds from marquee global investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Luxor Capital, Sumeru Ventures and others.

The latest round follows close on the heels of a USD 650 million-plus fund raise from Siguler Guff, Carlyle Group, Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge Capital via Alpha Wave Ventures, Glade Brook Capital, Google, Microsoft and Qatar Investment Authority, taking the total capital raise in the past year to USD 1.5 billion.

The investment will be focused on bolstering the company’s position as the largest, fastest growing local language AI driven content platform in the country.

VerSe plans on both deepening and broadening its AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) and data science capabilities to further cement its position across all user, engagement and retention metrics.

Besides, it aims to drive deeper monetisation including influencers, e-commerce and live streaming and forays into Web 3.0 experiences across its local language creator base of over 50 million creators as well as its local language content ecosystem which experiences over 80 billion video plays per month.

Virendra Gupta Founder and Umang Bedi, Co-founder, VerSe Innovation, said with a strategic focus on video content and building for India, the platform has seen explosive growth emerging from the next billion users coming out of regional India.

This investment comes at a time when the platform is on a path to further expand offerings, monetisation models, deliver superlative Web 3.0 experiences and create an IPO-scale business.

VerSe Innovation became the first unicorn in tech for local languages and counts Goldman Sachs, Falcon Edge Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners India, Lupa Systems, B Capital Group, IIFL, Kotak, Catamaran, Bay Capital, Edelweiss and Omidyar Network, among others as existing investors.

Josh is the fastest growing and most engaged short-video app in India with over 150 million MAUs (Monthly Active Users), the statement pointed out.

Dailyhunt serves over 350 million plus users every month offering content artifacts every day in 15 languages from a licensed creator ecosystem of over 100,000 content partners and individual content creators.

PublicVibe serves over 5 million monthly active users (MAUs) and 1 million daily active users (DAUs) and has over 6 million plus downloads on the Play Store. PTI

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