Verse Innovation, the parent company of vernacular news aggregator Dailyhunt and maker of short video entertainment app Josh, has scored $100 million from Qatar Investment Authority and Glade Brook Capital Partners in a fresh round which also saw the participation of Canaan Valley Capital and existing investor Sofina Group.
The fresh financing has come within a few weeks of its $100 million Series G round from Google, Microsoft and AlphaWave. According to the company, it will use the proceeds to develop a creator ecosystem for Josh and scale its core product Dailyhunt.
The company had launched Josh soon after TikTok’s ban in India. The short video app had recently crossed 100 million downloads.
While the company didn’t disclose the valuation in this round, it was valued at about $1.01 billion in its last fundraising round in December 2020. “In a show of extraordinary confidence in the potential of its made-in-India, short-video app Josh, this funding sets VerSe Innovation on a strategic expansion path for its family of apps focused on Bharat,” said Dailyhunt in a press statement.
While analysts and observers believe that Josh is a sort of distraction for Dailyhunt, the company has managed to prove that it’s one of the formidable players in the space with its user base and back to back rounds.
Josh claims to have over 85 million daily active users or DAUs with 15 million creators and Dailyhunt claims to have more than 300 million users across its various apps and a network of over 100,000 content partners and individual content creators.
Founded as Newshunt in 2009, the product was later rebranded as Dailyhunt in 2015 and it competes with Inshorts whereas Josh shares the space with ShareChat’s Moj, MX TakaTak and a few others.