An Indian community content startup that launched its short video app four days after the government banned China’s TikTok has received $ 805 million in funding for the country’s largest venture capital round this year.
VerSe Innovation Pvt. The startup announced Wednesday that more than half of its $ 425 million capital in the latest round has come from the Board of Investment of the Pension Scheme of Canada. Other investors include the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Luxor Capital and Sumeru Ventures. Existing supporters, including the Sofina group and Bailey Keyford, are also involved. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. And a Google-funded startup that raised $ 1.5 billion last year alone, now stands at $ 5 billion.
The Bangalore-based company runs the Josh processor, which is billed as Instagram for India, which refers to India that does not speak English and lives outside its half-dozen affluent cities. VerSe also owns the local language content distribution site Dailyhunt, which precedes Josh and focuses on India’s “next billion” regional language users.
Josh has 150 million monthly active users, while Dailyhunt has 350 million, according to the company. One-tenth of the content in both applications is in Indian languages.
After India banned Dictoc and many other Chinese native applications in June 2020, India’s short video startups saw dizzying growth. Since then, competitors such as Josh and Roboso and Moz have recorded user numbers, stock and record earnings. Blojberg News recently reported that Moj’s parents are in talks to raise $ 200 million worth of $ 5 billion from investors, including ShareChat, Temasek and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
“VerSe will be profitable in the next two or three years,” said Virender Gupta, founder of VerSe.
VerSe Capital will be used to expand its AI and machine learning capabilities and enhance user engagement and retention using data science. This will increase revenue through influencer-led trading and direct trading.
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