Google and Microsoft Corp. Alphabet Inc. have joined a round of investing more than $ 100 million in VerSe Innovation Pvt, maker of Indian short video app Josh and news aggregator Dailyhunt, valuing the company at more than ‘a billion dollars.
The new financing is led by AlphaWave and is joined by existing investors Sofina Group and Lupa Systems. Other investors in VerSe are Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Sequoia Capital India. The company has announced plans to grow Josh, expand its ecosystem of content creators, and develop artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help him capture an ever larger audience. It will also explore potential movements beyond its national borders into other international markets that present a need for vernacular content.
Josh is a rival of TikTok suited to his country of origin and variety of local languages, touting its ‘Made in India’ character at a time when TikTok and dozens of other Chinese-made apps were banned for reasons. confidentiality and national security. has racked up an audience of 77 million monthly active users and now accounts for more than 1.5 billion video plays per day, according to a company statement.
“In the past two years alone, 100 million new internet users have logged in from rural India,” Google vice president Caesar Sengupta wrote in a blog post. “But many of these internet users continue to struggle to find content to read or services they can use with confidence, in their own language. That’s why Google is getting involved in supporting VerSe, including Dailyhunt is a landing point for more than 300 million users to consume content in a choice of 14 local languages, he added.