DailyHunt, the uber popular new-aggregator app which now has further diversification into books and magazines in around 12 languages, is currently in talks with investors to close a $40 million funding round. This development was first reported by LiveMint, who cites two sources aware of the matter.
Sources have told Mint, that the company has roped in Arun Sarin, former chief executive officer of Vodafone, as an investor in the company. It is, however, not yet clear if he is taking up a board seat in the company or not. Along with him, existing investors of the company, including Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Falcon Edge Capital and Omidyar Network, have committed to invest in this round.
Arun Sarin had earlier invested in ride-hailing service Ola in July 2015 and also took a board seat in the company. In September 2015, he invested in music streaming app Saavn and just recently picked up a stake in Truecaller.
DailyHunt, previously known as NewsHunt, was started by former Nokia executives Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009, and was then sold to Ver Se Innovation in 2012. Later on, in August 2015, the company was rebranded as DailyHunt.
The mobile application aggregates content from more than 175 publications in 12 languages, which includes English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Gujrati, Urdu, Oriya and Punjabi. The company has tied up with news publications such as Amar Ujala, Dinamalar, Malayala Manoroma, Kannada Prabha, Loksatta, AnandaBazar Patrika among others to deliver the required content.
Besides aggregating news, the platform is also used for selling e-books in 10 languages — English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi and Oriya. The company is also offering an option to pay for individual chapters.
Initially available in India only, the company has recently expanded its footprints to Sri Lanka, Bangaladesh, the United Arab Emirates and Africa. As per the company, over 900 million users are using its service to read news, magazines or books.
Last year, company’s CEO Virendra Gupta had revealed that they are looking to launch different forms of content, including videos, apart from launching a test preparation service for government and banking jobs among others.
So far, the company has raised more than $58 million in funding. In September 2014, it had raised $18 million in Series B round, while it raised $40 million in Series C round, led by Flacon Capital, with particpation of Matrix Partners India, Omidyar Network and Sequoia Capital.
DailyHunt forayed into the e-commerce market by acquiring BuyT in a cash & stock deal in July 2015. BuyT team was said to build the next-generation platform for the company by integrating shopping and commerce options for local-language users on the platform.
A couple of months ago, the company picked up a minority stake in OneIndia by investing around Rs. 15 crore. Both the companies are now focusing on infusing the investment amount into generating and distributing media content, specially short form video and audio to local language users.