SoftBank likely to back Dailyhunt; Falcon Edge may invest in Stanza Living: Reports

SoftBank likely to back Dailyhunt; Falcon Edge may invest in Stanza Living: Reports
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay

Local-language content and news aggregator Dailyhunt, owned by Bengaluru-based Versé Innovation Pvt. Ltd, is in talks to raise up to $150 million (Rs 1,055 crore at current exchange rate) in fresh funding from Japan’s SoftBank.

Mint, citing people in the know, said that the talks, which are in early stages, will mark SoftBank’s first-ever investment in a content-based platform, should the deal fructify.

In response to an email from TechCircle, SoftBank said it would not comment on the Mint report, terming it as speculation. An e-mail query to Virendra Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Dailyhunt, did not get a response till the time of filing this report.

The development comes two months after TechCircle had reported that Dailyhunt is raising $173 million in a fresh round of funding from New York-based investment bank Goldman Sachs’ hedge fund. Out of $173 million, Dailyhunt has already received $35 million. 

By TechCircle estimate, Dailyhunt’s valuation will stand at $600-$650 million at the end of this $173 million fundraising exercise. Should the $150 million deal with SoftBank materialise, it will likely take the platform closer to the $900 million mark, near unicorn status.

Dailyhunt was launched as Newshunt by former Nokia executives Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009 and sold to Versé in 2012. It was rebranded as Dailyhunt in August 2015.

Dailyhunt counts on a proprietary algorithm to deliver personalised news content. The startup claims to have 80 million users who spend over six 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 platform’s investors include Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, Omidyar Network and ByteDance.

Falcon Edge to lead $50 mn round in Stanza Living

Delhi-based student accommodation platform Stanza Living is in talks to raise up to $50 million (Rs 351.5 crore) in a fresh funding round, a financial daily reported.

The Economic Times, citing people in the know it did not name, said that New York-headquartered hedge fund Falcon Edge is likely to lead the round with a $30 million infusion.

E-mail queries to Sandeep Dalmia and Anindya Dutta, co-founders of Stanza Living, seeking more comments on this development, did not elicit a response till the time of filing this report.

The development comes two months after it had raised $4.4 million (Rs 30 crore then) in venture debt from Alteria Capital.

Owned and operated by Dtwelve Spaces Pvt. Ltd, the startup was founded in February 2017. An IIM Ahmedabad graduate, Dalmia has worked at the Boston Consulting Group while Dutta was with global alternative investment management firm Oaktree Capital.

Students, particularly those moving to a new city, can avail of managed and shared fully-furnished accommodations.

Stanza Living also has partnerships with restaurants, fitness centres and other institutions, through which it provides its residents rewards. Besides accommodation, the startup offers students the opportunity to connect with alumni, internship opportunities as well as guidance on online study materials.

The company claims to have scaled the business seven times since last year, while unlocking an inventory of 15,000 beds across Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Indore, Vadodara and Dehradun in 2019.