VerSe Innovation, the parent company of news aggregator Dailyhunt and short video app Josh, announced on April 6 that it had received US $805 million at a valuation of US $5 billion, indicating that investor optimism has remained robust despite recent volatility in technology stocks.
The funds will be used to improve the startup’s AI/ML skills and invest in new initiatives like live streaming and Web 3.0, giving it weapons to compete against local rivals like ShareChat and worldwide opponents like Instagram and YouTube.
This is also the year’s most significant investment round for an Indian startup, particularly when investors are becoming more cautious and deals are taking longer to finish. Dailyhunt has raised the most money so far, at US $805 million, followed by Swiggy with US $700 million. Polygon, Byju’s, and Uniphore are among the companies that have raised more than US $400 million.
With a US $425 million investment, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) took the lead. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Luxor Capital, Board (Ontario Teachers’), and Sumeru Ventures are other investors.
The company has raised more than US $2 billion in capital, with US$1.5 billion of that coming in the previous year alone.
What the founders have to say:
Gupta and Bedi said in jointly:
“This alliance will boost our capacity and leadership to deliver on our objective of building the world’s largest AI-powered local language content platform across a family of apps servicing the next billion people,” says the company.
“We’ve witnessed rapid growth from the next billion users coming out of regional India, thanks to a strategic focus on video content and creating for India.” This investment comes when we’re looking to grow our offerings and monetization approaches and deliver world-class Web 3.0 experiences and build an IPO-scale firm,” they said.
About VerSe Innovation:
Virendra Gupta and Shailendra Sharma started VerSe Innovation in 2007. In February 2018, Umang Bedi joined the firm. Josh, a short video platform created by the firm shortly after the TikTok ban in 2020, has seen substantial development.
In the next few weeks, the business will also debut a live commerce component, and it is in talks with significant markets about it. ShareChat’s Moj, the firm’s main competitor, partnered with Flipkart to begin live commerce in October 2021.
Through its short video app Roposo, InMobi’s Glance, which just received US $200 million in funding from Reliance-owned Jio, is also betting big on live commerce businesses . Roposo’s live commerce initiative will benefit significantly from the support of Reliance Retail, which also operates JioMart.
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