Dailyhunt Success Story - How it Brings Daily News and Content in Local Indian Languages?

Chayanika Goswami Chayanika Goswami Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Jun 6, 2022 10 min read
Dailyhunt Success Story - How it Brings Daily News and Content in Local Indian Languages?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Dailyhunt.

We no longer have to wait for the newspapers to get the latest news, nor do we require to wait till we reach home and switch on the TV to know the breaking news. With mobile phones, fast and cheap internet services, and online news aggregators accessing news, the latest information and updates are now a breeze. However, getting local news updates every day in regional languages was still far from the reality in India until 2010 when Dailyhunt was founded.

The Indian content and news aggregating app founded in 2009, is a platform that delivers local news from all the corners of the country to the Indian masses in their regional languages. Headquartered in Bengaluru, Dailyhunt aggregates and presents news and daily local language content in 14+ regional languages "that informs, enriches and entertains" the Indian audiences.

Initially started as Newshunt by Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009, the Symbian turned Android application was acquired by Virendra Gupta in 2011. It was Viru who renamed the application to Dailyhunt, the name it is now known as, in 2015. Today Dailyhunt procures content from over 1000+ publishers and is gaining much popularity due to its Indian regional language contents.

Dailyhunt turned India's first tech unicorn focused on local languages on December 21, 2020, after its parent organization, VerSe Innovation received funding of over $100 million led by Google, Microsoft, and Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation.

Find 650+ newspapers and channels in a single app in your own language - Dailyhunt

StartupTalky covers the success story of Dailyhunt in this post. Know all about Dailhunt, how the platform works, its business model, revenue model, funding, founder/owner, mergers and acquisitions & more.

Dailyhunt Β - Company Highlights

Startup Name Dailyhunt
Headquarters Bangalore
Founder Virendra Gupta, Umang Bedi and Shailendra Sharma
Sector News, Media
Founded 2009
Parent Organization Verse Innovation Pvt Ltd.
Total Funding $430+ million (February 2021)
Revenue $35.14 mn (Rs 267.6 crore in FY20)
Valuation $1 bn+ (December 2020)
Website www.dailyhunt.com

Dailyhunt - Industry | The Media and Entertainment Sector in India
Dailyhunt - About and How it Works
Dailyhunt - Founders and Team
Dailyhunt - Startup Story | How was Dailyhunt Started?
Dailyhunt - Name and Logo
Dailyhunt - Business Model and Revenue Model
Dailyhunt - Funding and Investors
Dailyhunt - Mergers & Acquisitions
Dailyhunt - Partnership
Dailyhunt - Growth
Dailyhunt - Competitors
Dailyhunt - Future Plans

Dailyhunt - Industry | The Media and Entertainment Sector in India

According to the PwC report, India’s Media and Entertainment sector is fairly expected to touch $45.1 billion by 2021, expanding at a CAGR of over 10.5%. The report also states that the segment has undergone substantial progress since 2016 when its valuation stood at $27.3 billion.

Dailyhunt - About and How it Works

Dailyhunt is an Indian local news and content aggregator app that provides local language content in 14 Indian languages, which include major languages like Hindi, Kannada, and Marathi to name a few, from over 3000+ content providers.

It is one of the early entrants in the regional content space in the country. The interesting part is that the platform also offers short videos. This video content is sourced from organizations and stringers. Through its smart technology, the platform personalizes the content as per the users' requirements.

From the nation's biggest news source to hyperlocal correspondents, it curates news that you will surely love to watch. Almost 90% of the users use the platform in regional languages. It serves more than 350 million users a month, as per the latest reports. The unique proposition is that the users can browse the topics of their interest and also share news over different social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook, etc.

Dailyhunt Login

Dailyhunt login is not difficult. The login process of the Dailyhunt app is really easy because the local news aggregating platform appears as a website that is designed as a news portal for vernacular news. To login to the same, you simply need to go to www.direct.dailyhunt.in/login if you are using a browser or open the Dailyhunt app, create your username and password, and login through the same credentials to enjoy your news updates right from the comfort of your home.

Dailyhunt - Founders and Team

Virendra Gupta is the founder and CEO of Dailyhunt while Umang Bedi is the co-founder and Shailendra Sharma is the co-founder & SVP of Dailyhunt.

Virendra Gupta, Umang Bedi and Shailendra Sharma (L to R)
Virendra Gupta, Umang Bedi and Shailendra Sharma (L to R)

Virendra Gupta

Virendra Gupta has a B.E degree in Electronics and Communication from Jodhpur's MBM Engineering College, after which he completed a Master's in Management from IIT Mumbai School of Management. Gupta started his career with OnMobile where he was in Marketing and Alliances. After his brief stint with OnMobile, Virendra moved on to work with other companies including Bharti Cellular and Trilogy, where he served in various key leadership positions. Virendra Gupta eventually founded Verse, a value-added service company in 2007, which led him to acquire Newshunt (now Dailyhunt) in 2011, thereby becoming the Founder and CEO of both the companies.

Umang Bedi

Now known as the Co-founder of Dailyhunt, Umang Bedi was a Pune University student from where he completed B.E in Electronics. He then pursed a General Managemnet Program from the Hardvard Business School. Starting his career as a Managing Director of Intuit Inc, Umang has served as a Managing Director in a couple of other notable companies too, which includes Adobe and Facebook before being appointed as the President of Dailyhunt in 2018. Bedi was elevated to the designation of Co-founder in 2020. Umang is also the Statutory Board Member of Goals101.

Shailendra Sharma

Shailendra Sharma is the SVP of Engineering at Dailyhunt. Starting as a Software Trainee at Tata Research and Development Center, Sharma went on to work with Persistent Systems and Trilogy before he co-founded Dailyhunt with the other co-founders. Sharma is also regarded as the Founder of 360fy Technologies. Shailendra Sharma is also a Pune University alumnus from where he competed an MCA in Computer Science. Β  Β  Β  Β 

Virendra Gupta has initially started Dailyhunt. Later, he roped in Umang Bedi and Shailendra Sharma to make the platform available to a larger audience.

Dailyhunt has an employee strength between 251-500 employees.

Dailyhunt - Startup Story | How was Dailyhunt Started?

Dailyhunt, earlier known as Newshunt, was initially started by two ex-Nokia employees, Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni. It was created as a Symbian app in 2009. However, later in 2011, Newshunt was acquired by Virendra Gupta, who was then the founder of VerSe Innovation. He had started his venture VersΓ© Innovation Pvt Ltd. as a value-added service (VAS) company that provides SMS alerts on jobs, matrimony, property, news, and education to subscribers from around the country. In 2015, he renamed Newshunt as Dailyhunt. Β 

The name Dailyhunt was chosen because the app allows users to get daily news when searching determinedly.

Dailyhunt Logo
Dailyhunt Logo

Dailyhunt - Business Model and Revenue Model

Being a news aggregating app, is common, but Dailyhunt, most importantly, is a vernacular news aggregating app, there lies the difference. In contradiction to the other traditional news platforms, who target the top 10-15% of the internet users, Dailyhunt targets the remaining percentage of the audience, with its local language contents. Β  Β 

Dailyhunt is totally free for users who want to read the news and other relevant content from the app. It basically generates revenue from:

  1. Impressions Based (News): Tie-ups with large news media and publishing houses wherein Dailyhunt shares the advertising revenue on the news screens with these players.
  2. Transactions Based (Books, Magazines, and Singles): Tie-ups with book and magazine publishers, wherein the platform acts as a distributor for these books, collects the revenue from the users, and shares it with the publishers who in turn may share it with the authors.
  3. In-App Advertisements: Dailyhunt also earns from the advertisements of the companies and startups that features on the app.

Dailyhunt - Funding and Investors

Dailyhunt has witnessed more than $430 mn in funding over 14+ funding rounds from a range of investors including Qatar Investment, Falcon Edge, Google, Microsoft, ByteDance, Goldman Sachs and others.

Dailyhunt and Josh parent, Verse Innovation has raised a relatively large funding round on April 6, 2022, which infused $805 mn into the company, led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), where CPP alone put $425 mn worth of funds. As of the latest reports, the Dailyhunt parent is currently valued at around $5 bn. Β  Β 

Date Stage Amount Lead Investors
February 2021 Series H $100 million Qatar Investment Authority and others
December 2020 Series H $100 Million Google, Microsoft and Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation
November 2020 - $10 Million) B Capital Group
May 2020 Series G $35.6 million Lupa India, ByteDance, Goldman Sachs
April 2020 Series G $23.5 million Falcon Edge Capital, ByteDance
November 2019 Secondary Market - ByteDance
August 2019 Series F $3 million Goldman Sachs
May 2019 Series F $22 million Sofina
January 2019 Series E β‚Ή24.61 crore Omidyar Network, Sequoia Capital, Renu Sehgal Trust
January 2019 Venture Round - Equip Capital
September 2018 Series E $6 million Falcon Edge Capital
October 2016 Series D $25 million ByteDance
February 2015 Series C $40 million Falcon Capital
September 2014 Series B β‚Ή100 million Sequoia Capital India

Bytedance has reportedly exited Dailyhunt parent, VerSe Innovation's captable at a discount of 56%, as of June 4, 2022. The exit of the Chinese investor was confirmed earlier in June 2022, by VerSe. With the exit of the Tiktok owner, Bytedance, VerSe Innovation has now proclaimed that they are one of th few unicorn companies of India with 0% Chinese holding.

Bytedance has reportedly sold its stake in VerSe with the help of a secondary deal to existing investors, including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Β  Β 

Dailyhunt - Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Dailyhunt's parent organization VerSe Innovation has acquired India-based Vebbler, a community-focused application for sharing photos and videos on 10th March 2021.
  • On 23rd February 2021, VerSe Innovation has also acquired Bengaluru-based AI solutions provider, Cognirel Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
  • In June 2019, the startup acquired hyperlocal video content and news content application LocalPlay, which will help the site stream video content in smaller towns. This deal will also enable the local businessmen to advertise on the platform to target consumers in their area.
  • In July 2015, Dailyhunt acquired Buyt.In, a search engine that enables its users to discover, compare, and purchase products from a range of e-commerce portals.

The most prominent acquisitions of Dailyhunt are listed as:

Acquiree Name Acquired Date Price
Vebbler March 10, 2021 -
Cognirel Feb 23, 2021 -
LocalPlay June 20, 2019 -
Buyt.in July 15, 2015 -

Dailyhunt - Partnership

Twitter collaborated with Dailyhunt to bring Moments to the Indian vernacular news and content aggregating app, as per the reports on February 8, 2021. Dailyhunt currently has a dedicated section "Twitter Moments" where the Dailhunt users can find curated tweets containing news and other events. Β 

In December 2020, Dailyhunt announced its partnership with Mzaalo. This will allow Dailyhunt users to get access to Mzaalo's content and also earn a reward point. These points can later be redeemed to purchase products/services of brands in the Mzaalo app.

Dailyhunt - Growth

In July 2018, Dailyhunt added over 12 million net new monthly active users, and in August, it beat the previous month’s performance with the addition of 15 million new monthly active users. Total monthly users on all platforms (Dailyhunt and OneIndia) put together, when reported in September 2018, was 138 million+, of which Dailyhunt accounted for 100 million+. Moreover, the time spent per daily active user is over 27 minutes per person per day, as reported at the end of 2018.

Dailyhunt has grown to serve over 350 million users every month and its short video platform, Josh claims to grow its monthly active users (MAUs) to 139 million, and its daily active users (DAUs) to 68 million, as of January 20, 2022 reports. The Verse Innovation news aggregating platform Dailyhunt has turned out to be one of the leading news providing platforms and has grown 8X bigger than its nearest rival InShorts. Β 

Why are Losses Piling Up?

Dailyhunt attained unicorn status after the Google-led fundraising round in December 2020, and the Indian content and news aggregator platform is aiming to scale new horizons with the Chinese apps not yet to be unbanned anytime soon.

The Indian content and news aggregator platform has reportedly increased its operating revenue in FY20 where its total collections amounted to Rs 310 crore, which improved by 95% from Rs 159.1 crore in FY19. However, the company has simultaneously witnessed a surge in its total expenditure, which included:

  • Advertisement and promotional expenditure - This rose by 74% from Rs 214.6 crore in FY19 to Rs 373 crore in FY20.
  • Commissions to selling agents - The company distributed commissions amounting to Rs 8.4 crores to their selling agents.
  • Expenditure on employee benefits - This witnessed a rise of 36%, from Rs 114 crore in FY19 to Rs 155.2 crore in FY20.
  • Training and recruiting expenses - Additional amount of Rs 3 crore.
  • Miscellaneous expenses - This surged 54.4%, from Rs 81.6 crore in FY20 to Rs 126 crore in FY21.
  • Legal and professional costs - Dailyhunt has to bear Rs 16.7 crore in the name of legal and other professional costs.

Going by the income-expenses of the company, Dailyhunt had to spend Rs 2.7 to earn a single rupee, which is a slight improvement from Rs 3 spent to gain Re 1, which the company exhibited at the end of the past financial year. The main reason for the losses that Dailyhunt is picking up is the rising costs of the company that needed to be curbed in the future. These expenses would continue to grow even in FY21 and FY22 due to Josh, the short-form video app launched by Dailyhunt, according to the experts. The reasons for the upcoming expenditures are mainly associated with the promotion and seamless integration of Josh, which is facing huge market competition from ShareChat's Moj, InMobi-owned Glance's Roposo and MX's Takatak.

Dailyhunt - Competitors

Though Dailyhunt was one of the early entrants in the market, today it faces strong competition in the market. There are a lot of applications with different USPs running for the first position in the market. Inshorts directly competes with Dailyhunt in the news aggregation space Β along with the other applications of:

  • Newsstand
  • Business Insider
  • FirstPost
  • NDTV
  • Dainik Bhaskar

On the other hand, the short video application of Dailyhunt, Josh competes with

  • Moj by ShareChat
  • MX TakaTak
  • YouTube Shorts

Dailyhunt - Future Plans

Dailyhunt currently has spoken of its plans to reach 600 of 725 districts of India from its current presence in 400 districts.

β€œFor the next 10 years, we are going to be all about Bharat or India that does not speak English to take to consumption in a big way with smartphones", says Virendra Gupta, founder and CEO of Dailyhunt.

FAQs

What is Dailyhunt?

Dailyhunt is an Indian news and content aggregator app, which can also be termed as a local news app that provides local language content in 14+ Indian languages from over 3000+ content providers.

Dailyhunt is from which country?

Dailyhunt originated from India. It previously had the Chinese Investor, ByteDance, in its captable, who exited the company, as of June 4, 2022.

Who is the Dailyhunt app owner?

Dailyhunt's parent company is VerSe Innovation, which is owned by Virendra Gupta. He is the founder and CEO of Dailyhunt.

Are Newshunt and Dailyhunt the same?

The Dailyhunt company, as it stands now, is originally rebranded from Newshunt. So, essentially Newshunt and Dailyhunt are the same platforms.

What languages does Dailyhunt support?

Dailyhunt has content in 14+ Indian languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, English, Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya, Bengali, Urdu, Nepali & Bhojpuri.

What is Dailyhunt valuation?

Dailyhunt is currently a unicorn and boasts of a valuation of more than $1 bn.

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