Newshunt raises Rs250 crore from Falcon Edge and others1 min read . Updated: 07 Feb 2015, 12:13 AM IST
This round was led by Falcon Edge Capital with the participation of existing investors Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Omidyar Network
Mumbai: Bangalore-based Verse Innovation Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates the local language news mobile application Newshunt, announced on Friday that it had raised ₹ 250 crore in its third (Series C) round of funding.
This round was led by Falcon Edge Capital with the participation of existing investors Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India and Omidyar Network. In September 2014, Newshunt had raised its Series B round of funding.
“We are looking at using the funds for marketing, creating new categories of content in local languages which would include videos, audio and test preparation content. We are a 200-member team and will hire more people to create better technology and product solutions," said Viru Gupta, chief executive officer with the company, over the phone.
The company has built products that allow users to view news, read ebooks and make payments for downloads on the mobile via iPayy, using their local languages. Newshunt has been downloaded by 75 million users; it provides news in 13 local languages from over 100 news sources with over 25,000 articles everyday. In the last six months, almost 4 million unique customers have used the iPayy platform for payments.
The Mobile Internet in India 2014 report that was released in January this year states that, with the increasing penetration of smartphones, the number of mobile Internet users in India is expected to reach 213 million by June 2015, a 23% jump over six months.
The number of mobile Internet users in rural India is set to grow at a rate of 33% from October 2014 to reach 49 million by March 2015 and 53 million by June 2015.
“We believe the local language Internet is set for an inflection and Newshunt will be at the center of this ecosystem. We encourage all stakeholders in the ecosystem to partner with Newshunt to create new digital content and services, get them discovered and monetized through this platform," said Vikram Vaidyanathan, managing director, Matrix Partners India, in a statement.