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Google-backed VerSe valued at $5 billion in latest funding round

Google-backed VerSe valued at $5 billion in latest funding round
Google-backed VerSe valued at $5 billion in latest funding round   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters

NEWDELHI – 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.

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 Inc’s 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.