Exclusive: News aggregator Dailyhunt secures first tranche of Series E round
Bengaluru-based news aggregator Dailyhunt, run by Ver Se Innovation Pvt. Ltd, has raised over $6 million (Rs 42 crore at current exchange rates) in what is believed to be the first tranche of a larger Series E funding round from New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge, documents filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs revealed.
TechCircle estimates show that the company was valued at $335 million (Rs 2,371 crore at current exchange rates) pre-money, which is close to its valuation from its Series D investment round pegged at around $330 million (Rs 2,230 crore) then.
Email queries sent to Dailyhunt’s chief executive and founder Virendra Gupta did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report. Falcon Edge could not be immediately reached.
Dailyhunt, which was formerly known as Newshunt, relies on a proprietary algorithm powered by deep and machine learning to deliver personalised curated news content. The startup claims to have 80 million users who spend over 6 billion minutes on the platform each month.
Dailyhunt offers news articles licensed from thousands of content partners and contributors in 14 languages. It provides original video content in Hindi and Telugu and a free live television streaming service with more than 130 channels across nine languages through strategic partnerships with Vuclip and YuppTV as well as firms in the over-the-top (OTT) video content space.
Dailyhunt's latest offering is Newzly, a news excerpt mobile application that provides users customised trending headlines in nine languages.
The company’s investors include Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, Omidyar Network and Bytedance.
Dailyhunt had raised Rs 168 crore ($25 million) in a Series D funding round from Chinese content provider ByteDance in October 2016. Arun Sarin, former CEO of Vodafone, and existing investors—Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Omidyar Network, Falcon Edge and Franklin Templeton PE—had also participated in the round.
In February 2015, it had raised Rs 250 crore ($36 million) in Series C funding led by Falcon Edge Capital. In September 2014, it raised Rs 110 crore in a Series B investment round from Sequoia Capital, Omidyar Network and Matrix India Partners.
The company was launched as Newshunt by former Nokia executives Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009 and sold to Ver Se Innovation in 2012. It was rebranded as Dailyhunt in August 2015.
Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy had exited Dailyhunt in September 2016. A media report in February 2017 said that the PE firm sold its stake to the startup's existing investor Bytedance of China.
Franklin had invested $10.34 million in the company in September 2011, and an undisclosed amount, along with other investors, in October last year, data from VCCEdge, the data research arm of News Corp VCCircle, showed.
Deals in the space
Dailyhunt competes with a number of players offering news through web and mobile platforms.
In February this year, Kochi-based Quadzeta Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates inFact, a mobile app which aggregates news and infotainment content, raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Joel George, a Saudi Arabia-based angel investor.
Last December, news curation app Inshorts had raised $5 million (Rs 32.2 crore) from existing investor Tiger Global in a bridge round of funding.