As the toll of Internet users in India soars, the tide of digital media publications and media houses is also on the rise. And to provide users with relevant regional language content, popular news and ebook app Dailyhunt, has acquired a minority stake in OneIndia, a local news language portal, for Rs. 15 crores.
The two companies will now closely work on expanding the already standing content partnership. They will also focus on infusing the investment amount into generating and distributing media content, specially short form video and audio to local language users.
Talking about the importance of local language content in India and the content partnership, Virendra Gupta, founder and CEO, Dailyhunt said that,
It’s time for local language content generation to go more deep, like it has in English. We need content in both audio and video, and more short format content appealing to the demographics of the country. We are supporting non-news content with this investment.
This deal will also see Gupta join the board of Greynium Information Technologies, the parent company of OneIndia.
Founded in 2006 by BG Mahesh, OneIndia is a local news language portal that publishes content across a multitude of genres, including lifestyle, entertainment, technology, automobiles, travel, personal finance and education. This content is made available to users in eight local languages. Rajesh Jain, who was an early investor in Greynium also came on board when he acquired the company in 2010, through his own venture Netcore.
The duo, Jain and Mahesh are also acknowledged for their rigorous efforts behind PM Narendra Modi’s successful digital strategy during the 2014 elections. With a staggering 35 million unique visitors and 500-million views per month, its collection of websites also includes that’s Cricket, FilmiBeat and CareerIndia.
Commenting on the investment and content partnership with Dailyhunt, Mahesh adds that,
Greynium has been a key player in the local languages space, and this position will be further strengthened by Dailyhunt’s reach across India. It also ties in well with our plans for producing video content in vernacular languages, which we expect to be the next big growth wave for us.
Dailyhunt, formerly known as Newshunt, was co-founded in 2009 by former Nokia employees Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni. With the goal to build a platform product for Indian language users and on-board more publishers and partners, the company was acquired by Ver Se in 2012. The company has received huge investments, adding up to about $58 million from marquee investors including Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners, Omidyar Network, and Falcon Edge, among others.
This investment by Dailyhunt is part of a broader vision, which is focused on generating revenues from advertising dollars, as MNCs are also increasing their spend on digital with increasing smartphone penetration. But, the company might also have to shoulder some losses due to the ‘equalisation levy‘ which has been imposed on advertising expenditure of multinationals with no permanent establishment in the country.