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Home >Companies >Start-ups >Latest funding values VerSe, Glance at $1 bn

Nearly six months after India-China clashes led to TikTok’s exit, two Indian social platforms—InMobi-owned Glance and Dailyhunt parent VerSe Innovation—have emerged as unicorns in the burgeoning social media space.

Glance, which packs otherwise blank lock screens with news and games content, has raised $145 million in a primary investment round from Google and Peter Thiel-founded Mithril Capital.

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The funding values Glance at a little over $1 billion, said two people familiar with the deal. Unicorn is a term used for startups with a valuation of at least a billion dollars. This is the second unicorn from mobile advertising firm InMobi Group. Its business-to-business mobile advertising tech unit (called InMobi) was the first Indian startup to achieve unicorn status back in 2014.

Local language news and video app Dailyhunt’s parent, VerSe Innovation, raised around $100 million (approximately 738 crore) from AlphaWave, a unit of Falcon Edge Capital, Google and Microsoft, with the company valued at over $1 billion.

A spate of homegrown startups have been quick to try and fill the gap left by TikTok, and have together captured 40% of the short video market once dominated by the Chinese app, according to management consultancy Redseer.

They include Roposo—a short video app that is part of Glance—Dailyhunt’s Josh and Times group-owned MX Takatak. Dailyhunt launched short-video app Josh soon after the government announced the ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps after tensions with China in June.

InMobi launched Glance in March 2019 and bought Roposo last November, making Glance one of the fastest to achieve ‘unicorn’ status—in a span of less than two years.

“With the scale we have achieved on Glance, we now enter the top 10 social platforms along with Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and others. Historically, most consumer innovation has come from China, and now the fulcrum has moved to India. Today, we have partnerships with every device manufacturer, and we will continue to go deeper and explore interesting ways how users consume content," said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO, InMobi Group, on Monday.

Glance sits on the Android lock screen, through direct partnerships with device ,makers, and delivers artificial intelligence-driven personalized content in several languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bahasa.

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