The battle between Alibaba and Tencent for grabbing a major slice of the fledgling Internet market in India gradually stretching to several segments. After placing their bets against each other in online food ordering segment, they are now considering investment in vernacular focused news and entertainment aggregation space.
While Tencent is in talks with Delhi-headquartered NewsDog for buying a stake worth $30-40 million worth investment, Alibaba is reportedly eyeing a significant stake in news and entertainment aggregator Dailyhunt.
Importantly, Alibaba also operates its own news and entertainment business UC News in India.
Dailyhunt, backed by the likes of Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge, Omidyar, and Bytedance-parent company of Chinese news app Toutiao, is in talks with Jac Ma-led company to sell 10-12 per cent stake at an estimated valuation of $500 million.
One of the most funded startup in news aggregation space Dailyhunt claims to have amassed over 155 million app installs offering 100,000 news articles every day in 14 languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, and others.
It provides trending news articles across multiple genres including entertainment, business, and sports, amongst others from over 800 publication partners.
Besides news, the firm also provides original video content in Hindi and Telugu with free live television streaming service with more than 130 channels across nine languages. It had secured over $65 million in series C and D rounds from the aforementioned investors.
To spruce up its growth and monetiSation strategy, Dailyhunt had recently roped in former Facebook India’s CEO Umang Bedi to the company’s president board. Formerly known as Newshunt, Dailyhunt was floated by Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009 and sold to Verse Innovation in 2012.
It was rechristened as Dailyhunt in August 2015. The Bengaluru-headquartered company faces direct competition from NewsDog, InShorts, and Alibaba-backed UC News.
The news was first reported by Mint.