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Google-Backed VerSe Nets $805m in Funds for Josh, News App

VerSe, which is the Indian ‘parent’ of short-video app Josh and news aggregator Dailyhunt, is now valued at $5 billion

Google's VerSe in funding round
Geetha Sridha, 54, makes a video with her daughter Sarada Sridhar, to upload on Josh, the Indian short video app, in Mumbai. Photo: Reuters.


India’s VerSe Innovation has raised $805 million in a funding round led by Canada’s top pension fund, putting a $5 billion valuation on the Google-backed parent of short-video app Josh and news aggregator Dailyhunt. 

The funding round saw participation from firms including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Luxor Capital and Sumeru Ventures.


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VerSe said the investment will strengthen the AI-powered local language content platform across its family of apps, which targets the next billion of internet users from India. 

Josh, which has more than 150 million monthly active users, competes in India with home-grown rival Moj and Meta Platforms’ Instagram Reels, all of which have sprung up since the country blocked the popular TikTok in June 2020 amid a border crisis with China. 

The short video space has since attracted global investor interest in applications filling the gap.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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