VerSe Innovation, which owns platforms like Dailyhunt and Josh, on Thursday said it has raised and signed definitive agreements for over USD 450 million (about Rs 3,341.1 crore) funding from Siguler Guff, Baillie Gifford, affiliates of Carlyle Asia Partners Growth II, and others. The series I funding also saw existing investors – Sofina Group, Qatar Investment Authority, and BCap – also participating north of their pro-rata in this round, a statement said.
This has resulted in VerSe Innovation more than doubling its valuation from its prior round five months ago, it said but did not specify details. Reports had suggested VerSe Innovation’s valuation stood at about USD 1.1 billion after the February fundraiser. The company had raised over USD 200 million from Falcon Edge Capital, Google, Microsoft, and others in February.
‘The investment will be focused on strengthening the company’s leadership position as the largest, fastest-growing local language AI-driven content platform in the country,’ the statement said. VerSe plans on both deepening and broadening its AI/ML and data science capabilities to further widen its leadership position across all user, engagement, and retention metrics, it added.
This will drive further monetization, including e-commerce and Live streaming, and further cement the company’s market leadership across its local language creator base of over 50 million creators as well as its local language content ecosystem that experiences over 80 billion video plays per month, it said.
This company will also ‘explore’ expansion of its family of apps strategy and expand across other international geographies to extend its broad-based tech platforms in serving similar unmet content needs of local language audiences globally, the statement said. Josh is a short-video app with over 115 million MAUs (monthly active users) and more than 56 million DAUs (daily active users). Dailyhunt serves over 300 million users every month offering content artifacts every day in 14 languages from a licensed creator ecosystem of over 1,00,000 content partners and individual content creators.
VerSe Innovation, with its family of apps focused on Bharat, counts Goldman Sachs, Falcon Edge Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners India, Lupa Systems, IIFL, Bay Capital, Edelweiss and Omidyar Network, among others, as existing investors. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to VerSe Innovation on the transaction.
Source: Business World