Bengaluru-based Ver Se Innovations, which owns online news aggregator Dailyhunt, has raised $22.5 million (around Rs 180 crore) in a growth round led by New York headquartered hedge fund Falcon Hedge Capital. The investment was made through a entity called Alpha Wave Holdings.
Beijing-based content aggregator Byte Dance, private equity firm Advent Management, and investment bank Goldman Sachs participated in the round, latest regulatory filings showed.
Of the total, Falcon Edge infused $9.4 million, while the balance amount was invested by the remaining investors — $4.6 million each. The company issued 138,235 Series G1 preference shares at Rs 12,965.84 per share, totalling to Rs 179.6 crore.
In March 2019, TechCircle had reported that Dailyhunt will raise $173 million (Rs 1,224 crore at current exchange rate) in a fresh round of funding from New York-based investment bank Goldman Sachs’ hedge fund.
Since inception, Dailyhunt has raised around $172 million, according to data from VCCEdge. Venture capital firms Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge Capital, along with angel investor collective Omidyar Network are among the investors in the company.
Dailyhunt was also said to be in talks to raise $150 million from Tokyo headquartered Softbank. However, the deal has not materialised as of now.
Earlier known as Newshunt, the platform was founded by former Nokia executives Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009. It was acquired by Ver Se Innovations in 2012 and rebranded as Dailyhunt in 2015. The company is currently led by CEO Virendra Gupta.
Dailyhunt uses machine learning and deep learning technology that tracks user preferences to deliver news and content. The platform claims to offer news and content in 14 languages, licensed from over 1,000 publications. It has 252 million monthly active users and 51 million daily active users.
Recently, several vernacular news and content platforms have cropped up. Last year, two such startups, Lokal and Awaaz, received backing from venture capital firms such as India Quotient, 3One4 Capital and Matrix Partners.
ShareChat, a popular regional social media platform, last year raised $100 million led by Shunwei Capital.
The article has been amended from the original to reflect that the investment round was led by Falcon Edge Capital.