QIA invests $100 million in India-based VerSe Innovation
Local language tech platform VerSe Innovation, which is the parent company of news aggregator Dailyhunt and short-video platform Josh, has raised $100 million in Series H funding led by global investors Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, and Glade Brook Capital Partners.
The round also saw participation from Canaan Valley Capital and existing investor Sofina Group. In December 2020, VerSe had raised $100 million from Google, Microsoft, and AlphaWave. Short video platform Josh had then become the first unicorn in the local languages tech space. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to VerSe Innovation on the transaction.
In a press statement, VerSe Innovation said it plans to deploy the funding steadily in scaling up the short video platform, Josh. This will include the augmentation of local language content offerings, the development of its content creator ecosystem, innovation in AI and ML, and more importantly, creating an opportunity for India’s vast talent pool.
At present, the platform claims to have a confluence of India's top 200 creators, the 10 biggest music labels, over 15 million UGC creators, different content creation tools, entertainment formats, and formidable user demographics. The company said Josh is the fastest growing and most engaged short-video app in India at present with over 85 million MAUs (Monthly Active Users), 40 million DAUs (Daily Active Users), and over 1.5 billion video plays per day.
The startup's proprietary tech platform powers various tech solutions like the 300 million users on Dailyhunt. The company stated that this solid business foundation and capital infusion has now set the company on a path of rapid growth as it explores building a family of apps and expanding across other international geographies to extend its broad-based tech platforms in serving similar unmet content needs of local language audiences globally.