In line to previous reports, DailyHunt, a local language content application, has today announced that it has raised $25 million in its Series D round of funding. However, the amount raised by the company is much lesser that what we had speculated.
The current round was led by China’s Bytedance, along with the participation of Arun Sarin, Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Omidyar Network. Arun Sarin, who participated in this funding round former global CEO of Vodafone Group.
Interestingly, Bytedance itself a content aggregator in China. It is backed by investors like Russian billionaire Yuri Miliner’s DST Global and social media major Sina Weibo.
While the valuation at which the new round has been raised could not be ascertained, it is said that the deal has been done “at a premium” to its previous round valuation of Rs 1,700-1,800 crore. As per the reports, Avendus Capital acted as an advisor on the transaction.
Virendra Gupta, founder of Ver Se Innovation, said,
Dailyhunt has grown by partnering with publishers, developers, advertisers and other ecosystem partners. We want to thank our partners for their support and reaffirm our commitment to the local language digital ecosystem. The investment by ByteDance, who has done this at scale, reinforces our belief in the opportunity. We look forward to learn from ByteDance on personalization and large scale machine learning to continue to offer a unique experience to our users.
He further said that the company is now looking forward to learning from ByteDance on personalization and machine learning to continue to offer a unique experience to our users.
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.
DailyHunt’s app 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.
While the company was initially available in India only, it 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.
Prior to this funding round, the company has raised more than $58 million. 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.