Chinese Internet conglomerate Tencent is reportedly planning to invest $35-40 million in news and entertainment aggregator app NewsDog. The probable funding talks surface at a time when content-based digital businesses are attracting enough limelight.
Entrackr has reached out to Yi Ma, founder of NewsDog for confirmation. We will update the post with responses as it comes in.
Founded by Chinese entrepreneurs Chen Yukun and Yi Ma, and owned by Hong Kong-based Hacker Interstellar, the Delhi-headquartered platform has emerged as one of the fastest growing content aggregator apps since its launch in 2016.
Dailyhunt, InShorts and UC News are some of the direct competitors to NewsDog in this segment.
While the aforementioned apps have a significant readership in English language, Newsdog (referred as India’s smallest and fastest news app) has been focusing on vernacular languages.
The news app covers 10 main languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Kannada and others.
NewDog’s founder and CEO Chen Yukun feels very bullish about the growth of the platform. In an earlier interview with Entrackr, he told that the market is growing fast and India’s mobile internet is also cheap.
The reason for this is India’s language and cultural diversity. It is NewsDog’s algorithm and the importance we attach to local languages that differentiate it from the competition. His English language user base is relatively small as he is focussing on 700 million Hindi language users and other small languages.
There are about 60 or 70 million smaller language users. Because it is relatively small in the way of available consumer content for these users, they like to use our product and this means we get higher-scoring customer feedback than our competitors.
The deal, if materialises, will be crucial for the ecosystem as no other digital news and entertainment aggregator platform have raised so much money in India.
However, from the perspective of the Chinese investor, Tencent appears to see huge growth signs in the above numbers presented by NewsDog. Or the Chinese Internet conglomerate might be seeing another 36Kr, a Chinese technology new media platform, unfolding in India where it missed the chance to become the investee.
Besides, both Alibaba and Tencent, who see a huge opportunity in e-tail as well as online food sector, have been aggressively investing in India.
In December last year, 36Kr raised $45 million led by Chinese venture capital firm Gobi Partners, private equity fund China Prosperity Capital and others. The digital media platform had earlier received a series D financing led by Ant Financial.
The funding talk was first reported by Mint.