Dailyhunt, the platform that primarily started as a vernacular news app, has off late diversified into a larger social media company. With India’s ban of TikTok, Dailyhunt too joined the short form video frenzy, launching its own app in that sector. And now, the company is announcing a massive $100 million + fundraise, as it finds gold in that social media company ambition. The round, which also turned Dailyhunt into a unicorn, saw participation from Google among others.
The company managed to attract funds from tech giants like AlphaWave (a unit of Falcon Edge Capital), Google, and Microsoft. Existing investors Sofina Group and Lupa Systems also participated in this latest round of fundraising.
The company plans on using these newly acquired funds to revamp its short video format application, Josh. The startup aims to expand the application’s local language content offerings, develop a content creator ecosystem, and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
The short video application was launched after the Indian Government banned TikTok. Followers of TikTok have since then turned to alternatives like Josh, Chingari, Mitron, Moj, and Roposo. By quickly filling the void left by the ban of Chinese application, Josh (and other alternatives) has been able to grow a rapid user base and is one of the most downloaded Indian short-video apps on Google Play Store India. The application records over 77 million monthly active users, 36 million daily active users, with over 1.5 billion videos played every day.
Dailyhunt was founded back in 2009 with the name of News Hunt and later in 2015 was rebranded as Dailyhunt. The Bengaluru-based news agency accumulates and shares news in regional languages like Marathi, Gujrati, Bhojpuri, and Tamil. Applications based on regional languages are seeing rapid growth in the Indian market. Dailyhunt claims that it has 300 million across its applications and has 100,000+ content partners and individual content creators.
For years, Dailyhunt was the focus of Verse Innovation’s efforts but with the ban of TikTok, the company saw an opportunity, and made an effort to diversify its operations. So far, the move seems to have fared pretty well.