The funding will be focused on strengthening the company’s leadership position as the largest, fastest growing local language AI driven content platform in the country.
Bengaluru-based VerSe Innovation, a local language technology platform, has announced that it has raised and signed definitive documents for over $450 million in a Series I funding round from global investors Siguler Guff, Baillie Gifford, affiliates of Carlyle Asia Partners Growth II, and others.
Existing investors Sofina Group, Qatar Investment Authority, and BCap also participated north of their pro-rata in this round resulting in VerSe Innovation more than doubling its valuation from its prior round five months ago. The multi-million-dollar investment follows close on the heels of a $200 million+ fund raise from Falcon Edge Capital via Alpha Wave Ventures, Glade Brook Capital Partners, Google, Microsoft and QIA which concluded in February 2021, taking the total capital raise in the first half of 2021 to beyond $650 million.
With the funding, VerSe said it plans on both deepening and broadening its AI/ML and data science capabilities to further widen its leadership position across all user engagement and retention metrics, drive further on monetisation, including ecommerce and live streaming, and further cement its market leadership across its local language creator base of over 50 million creators as well as its local language content ecosystem which experiences over 80 billion video plays per month.
VerSe Innovation’s proprietary technology platform claims to serve one out of every two internet users in the country across ‘Josh’, a short video platform, and ‘Dailyhunt’, a local language content platform.
Josh is the fastest growing and most engaged short-video app in India with over 115+ million MAUs (monthly active users), 56+ million DAUs (daily active users) and the best DAU/MAU ratio in the industry of 49 percent. Dailyhunt serves over 300 million+ users every month offering content artifacts every day in 14 languages from a licensed creator ecosystem of over 100,000 content partners and individual content creators.
VerSe Innovation, with its family of apps focused on Bharat, became the first unicorn in tech for local languages and counts Goldman Sachs, Falcon Edge Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Matrix Partners India, Lupa Systems, IIFL, Bay Capital, Edelweiss, and Omidyar Network, among others, as existing investors.
Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to VerSe Innovation on the transaction.