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Dailyhunt’s parent VerSe Innovation raises $805 Mn at $5 Bn valuation

​​VerSe Innovation, the parent company of vernacular news aggregator Dailyhunt and maker of short video entertainment app Josh, has raised $805 million in its Series J round led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). CPP Investments has alone put $425 million in this financing round in the Bengaluru-based company.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’), Luxor Capital, Sumeru Ventures and existing investors Sofina Group, Baillie Gifford and others have also participated.

According to VerSe, it has raised $1.5 billion In the past 12 months and is now valued at $5 billion. The company was valued at $3 billion during $450 million Series I round in August last year.

VerSe will use the fresh capital to deepen and broaden its artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and data science capabilities, the company said in a press release. The company also has been planning to expand its offerings, monetization models, foray into Web 3.0 experiences and create an IPO scale business.

VerSe’s core product Dailyhunt claims to serve over 350 million users every month (MAU) whereas the short video app Josh claims to have 139 million monthly active users or MAUs and 68 million daily active users or DAUs.

Apart from news aggregation and short video app, Dailyhunt has also developed a hyper-local video platform called PublicVibe which provides hyperlocal video only updates across crime, politics, public issues and events in one’s location. Entrackr had exclusively reported about PublicVibe in December.

PublicVibe serves over 5 million MAUs and 1 million DAUs and has over 6 million downloads on the Play Store.

In the news aggregation and hyper-local video business, Dailyhunt competes with Inshorts while its short video app Josh competes with ShareChat’s Moj, MX TakaTak, YouTube Shorts and Instagram among others. Recently, the space has seen a major consolidation where ShareChat had acquired Times Internet-owned MX TakaTak in a deal worth around $600 million.

VerSe has also filed its annual financial report for the year ending on March 31, 2021. During the period, it recorded nearly 150% surge in its revenue to Rs 666 crore as compared to Rs 267.63 crore in FY20. The expenses of the company also jumped more than two-fold to Rs 1,579.7 crore from Rs 720 crore in FY20. The company reported a loss of Rs 807 crore in FY21 from Rs 410 crore in the preceding financial year.

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