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Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks with regional language news aggregator Dailyhunt to raise over $150 million, sources told Mint.
If this deal follows through, this would make it SoftBank’s first investment in the content space. Dailyhunt has been in the market looking for investors for a few months now. The report noted that the content platform aimed to raise $100 million, following which Goldman Sachs’ venture capital arm was going to invest $60 million in the firm.
SoftBank’s entry in the content market comes when many Chinese players have also shown interest in India with apps like Helo and TikTok. Dailyhunt’s rivals in India include Tencent-backed NewsDog, which was launched in India in 2016 by Chinese entrepreneur Forrest Chen.
“SoftBank’s interest in Indian content startups emerges from the larger theme of tapping into the next internet user wave in the country. SoftBank has held talks with another regional content startup for a potential investment, but nothing has been finalised yet,” a source told the paper.
Bedi claimed that the platform had revenue of $40 million and had 145 million monthly active users. The company, which had began floating advertisements on its platform only last year, plans to touch 205 million monthly users by June. However, industry experts have said that Dailyhunt’s growth has plateaued over the last few months.
Dailyhunt, previously known as Newshunt, was founded by Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009. It was then acquired by Virendra Gupta in 2012, who is now the news aggregator’s chief executive officer. Umang Bedi, formerly with Facebook, also joined Dailyhunt in February 2018.
The platform now aggregates news and entertainment content in 14 regional languages including Hindi, Kannada and Marathi apart from English. Nearly 90 percent of Dailyhunt’s users consume news in a regional language.