Dailyhunt looks to raise $80-100M funding from SoftBank, others, Technology News, ETtech


Dailyhunt looks to raise $80-100M funding from SoftBank, others
Dailyhunt, a platform which aggregates news and local language content, is looking to raise an additional $80-100 million from investors in a new funding round, two people familiar with the development said.

It has reached out to investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund, said these people. The Bengaluru-based company may rack up fresh capital from existing investor China’s ByteDance as well, these people added.

The investment is likely to be a part of the company’s ongoing round of which $35 million has already been raised from Goldman Sachs in March, according to Versé’s filings with the ministry of corporate affairs.

Dailyhunt has been in the market to raise a financing round for roughly 18 months and has held talks with multiple investors including Belgian investment fund Sofina, internet behemoth Alibaba, South Africa’s Naspers, among others, however, those talks had fallen through.

The company faces intense competition from the younger content platforms like Sharechat, Helo, TikTok besides core news aggregators in the digital space. Having diversified into the regional videos space and entered the crowded live streaming services segment, it is now pitted against other well-funded competitors.

“The content play in India is of interest to investors but scaling these platforms locally without spending a lot on marketing dollars is a hard business,” said a person briefed on the matter. Interestingly, ByteDance which already owns roughly 20% in the company also counts SoftBank as an investor. So far, the Japanese tech investor hasn’t backed a content startup in the domestic market.

Last year, Dailyhunt roped in former Facebook India head Umang Bedi as its president to scale the company’s revenues and user base at a time when its growth was slowing. Verse Innovation, which owns Dailyhunt has seen its revenue fall to Rs 126.2 crore in fiscal 2018 from Rs 132.9 crore in 2017, regulatory filings indicate even as losses went up 11% to Rs 285.7 crore. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the fiscal year ending March 2018 stood at Rs 80 crore. Dailyhunt directly competes with Newspoint, a part of The Times Group, which also publishes this paper.

The company last raised $6 million in September 2018 from an existing investor Falcon Edge in what was a bridge round, which typically comes through to fulfill the company’s short-term working capital needs.

When contacted by ET, a SoftBank spokesperson declined to comment while an emailed questionnaire sent to Dailyhunt’s founder & CEO, Virendra Gupta did not elicit a response till press time.

Dailyhunt, which was founded in 2009, is a platform aggregating content from a variety of newspapers and websites in over 13 Indian regional languages which include Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Bhojpuri. Its services also include original video content in Hindi and Telugu and free live television streaming service in multiple regional languages.

The company recently launched a new product Newzly, a news excerpts mobile application, that provides customised trending headlines in nine languages. It claims its machine learning technologies enables smart curation of content and tracks user preferences to deliver real-time, personalised content.

Local language content is one of the largest and untapped opportunities in the Indian internet landscape. With an online population of 500 million in 2017, India has is among the fastest growing internet markets globally. A report by KPMG and Google, noted that nine out of 10 new internet users between 2016 and 2021 will use local languages. Top venture capital investors have taken early bets on startups in this segment including the likes of Circle.news, Manch, Lokal among others, which have raised funds.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here