Tencent leads $50 Mn round in local content aggregator NewsDog

NewsDog
Chen Yukun, Founder & CEO, NewsDog

Chinese Internet conglomerate Tencent, California-based VC firm DHVC, Legend Capital and Dotc United Group have poured in $50 million in news and entertainment aggregator app NewsDog.

Founded by Chinese entrepreneurs Chen Yukun and Yi Ma, and owned by Hong Kong-based Hacker Interstellar, the Delhi-headquartered platform curates short form news stories in English and vernacular languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi.

The company will deploy funds towards bringing more professional content creators in India and sprucing up existing product. Currently, it claims to have 50 million users across 10 languages. It also has emerged as one of the fastest growing content aggregator apps since its debut on Play Store in 2016.

Unlike other apps such as UC News and InShorts, NewsDog focuses on local languages to differentiate it from the competition. The company’s English language user base is relatively small.

With the penetration of smartphone and Internet, consumption pattern of news has changed in a big way. Unlike sourcing information from media houses directly (through website, newspapers, and television), tech-savvy young audience preferred short and handy news apps such as Dailyhunt, InShorts, UC News, NewsDog, and others.

Variety of languages and distinct social strata distinguish Indian market from other places and provide immense growth potential.

To fortify its presence in user-generated content space, NewsDog also had launched WeMedia. Presently, about 30,000 writers are submitting content through it.

NewsDog majorly competes with Bengaluru-based DailyHunt and InShorts. While the Toutiao-backed company had raked in $25 million Series D round led by ByteDance in October 2016 and currently is in talks with Alibaba for selling a minority stake, InShorts had raised a $5 million round from Tiger Global.

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