VerSe Innovation, which operates local language news aggregators Dailyhunt and short-form video app Josh, has now reached a valuation of nearly $3 billion after it secured $450 million as a part of its new Series I funding round led by global investors.
The round included investors such as Siguler Guff, Baillie Gifford, affiliates of Carlyle Asia Partners Growth II among others as well as existing backers of the company Sofina Group, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and BCap.
A small portion of the round is to provide for secondary exits to employees and early stage investors of the company, according to an individual aware of the discussion requesting anonymity.
This is the third major fundraise for VerSe Innovation in just nine months, which has raised more than $650 million in equity funding since December 2020. As a part of its previous Series H round, the Dailyhunt parent had raised more than $200 million from the likes of Falcon Edge Capital via Alpha Wave Ventures, Glade Brook Capital Partners, Google, Microsoft and QIA which concluded in February 2021
The present round was oversubscribed by almost 2x, as the company had set out to raise roughly $250 million as a part of this round, after it witnessed investor interest for its previous fundraise, said the above individual.
According to VerSe, the investment will be focused on consolidating its leadership position in the content space, as well as for deepening and broadening its artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science capabilities.
It will also enhance monetisation capabilities on its platform by introducing e-commerce and live streaming.
Indian startups have recently upped their game to corner a higher market share.
Earlier in June this year, Glance, which operates video-platform Roposo, acquired social commerce platform, Shop101 to mark its entry into the influencer-led commerce space in the country.
Even rivals, Sharechat parent’s Moj and Bolo Indya have launched live video streaming features.
The follow-on investment in VerSe represents the heightened investor interest in the social and video commerce space.
Towards the end of June, Mohalla Tech, the parent of ShareChat and Moj raised an additional $145 million as an extension to its Series F round, at a valuation of $2.88 billion.
At present, VerSe claims to have a combined local language creator base of over 50 million, with over 80 billion video plays per month.
According to VerSe, Josh has over 115 million monthly active users, and more than 56 million daily active users. Dailyhunt currently serves over 300 million users every month offering content artifacts in 14 languages from a licensed creator ecosystem of over 100,000 content partners, the company said.