Bangalore-based VerSe Innovation, the parent company of Indian TikTok spin-off company Josh, has raised more than US$100 million (approximately Rs 7.4 billion) from investors including Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft. in India.
Since India blocked the popular TikTok in the border crisis with China in June, Josh has been one of several local short video platforms that has attracted global investors’ interest in apps that fill the gap. . The company said in a statement that Bangalore-based VerSe Innovation (which owns Josh shares) has an investment value of more than US$1 billion (approximately Rs 7,400). Josh’s downloads on the Google Play Store have exceeded 50 million.
VerSe said that AlphaWave, a part of global asset management company Falcon Edge Capital, also invested in VerSe, and existing investors Sofina Group and Lupa Systems also invested in VerSe, adding that it will use these funds to expand Josh. VerSe also owns the news and content platform Dailyhunt, which provides content in multiple Indian languages.
Google said that the investment is part of the US$10 billion (about Rs 73,900 crore) Google for India Digitization Fund established to accelerate the development of India’s digital economy.
“When we shared the details of the Indian Digital Fund in July of this year, we determined that every Indian can afford access and information in their own language, whether it is Hindi, Tamil, Malay Rajaram and Gujarati are still more important pillars to promote the digital development of India.” Google said in a blog.
Google said that in addition to VerSe, it also invested in Glance InMobi, which runs the lock screen content app Glance and short video app Roposo.
In September, Indian content-sharing platform ShareChat raised US$40 million (about Rs 3 billion) from investors including Twitter Inc and Lightspeed Ventures in an effort to promote the growth of its new short video application Moj. The application has also been installed on more than 50 million devices in the Google Play store.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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