DailyHunt, which was earlier known as NewsHunt, and provides news, magazines and e-books in local languages, has raised $25 million in its Series D round. The funding round was led by ByteDance, a China-based tech company operating content platforms worldwide.
Along with ByteDance, existing investors of the company — Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge, and Omidyar Network. The company has also roped in a new investor — Arun Sarin, who is a former CEO of Vodafone.
Speaking about this newly raised investment, Virendra Gupta, Founder and CEO of Dailyhunt, said that they are now looking forward to learn from the ByteDance team on personalisation and large-scale machine learning to continue offering a unique user experience.
Dailyhunt is currently one of the leading and most-used app for news and ebooks in India with over 28 million monthly active users. To compare it, Flipboard, which is the world’s leading news aggragator service providers, has 90 million monthly active users. DailyHunt, which operated only in India, has nearly one third users of Flipboard. Commenting on this investment, Virendra Gupta, Founder and CEO of the company, said,
We are focussed on ensuring that our audiences get a great personalised experience when they come to the platform. We, therefore, will be using the funding to ensure that we incorporate machine learning into our product. We will also be focussed on brand building, strengthening our ad sales team and work towards acquiring more customers. Data will be the key in whatever we do. We will be driving strong focus towards audio and video content as well.
The platform, which is currently available in over 15 languages, claims that there are over 35,000 items published everyday on the platform. Zhang Yiming, Founder and CEO of ByteDance, said,
Dailyhunt is addressing the next 400 million users who will be brought online by the coming explosion in data usage. We believe in their approach to work with every ecosystem player to bring the best content to the user.
In February last year, DailyHunt had raised Rs. 250 crore in series C funding led by New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital, along with Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, and Omidyar Network.
The number of users from rural India alone is estimated to touch 280 million by 2018, which is almost the total population of the United States. It is also estimated that 90 percent of Internet access in rural areas will be through a mobile phone. With such huge opportunity, it is not surprising that many new players are entering into the local language content market. Along with DailyHunt, other news aggregators like InShorts and Way2News are also focusing on local languages.