VerSe Innovation Pvt. Ltd, which entered the famed unicorn club of startups two months ago, said on Tuesday that it has acquired Bengaluru-based AI solutions provider Cognirel Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
As part of the transaction, Cognirel founder Ram Prakash will join VerSe’s board to head its newly instituted AI lab, VerSe said in a statement without disclosing financial details of the transaction.
The acquisition will help VerSe, the parent of online news and content platform Dailyhunt and short video app Josh, boost its plan to create cutting-edge digital capabilities to serve the emerging content needs of millions of consumers using technology.
“We are very proud of the momentum on VerSe and with this acquisition, we move a step further on our strategic expansion path for our family of apps focused on Bharat,” said VerSe co-founders Virendra Gupta and Umang Bedi.
They added that with this acquisition, they feel confident in taking its products into digitally emerging markets across the world that have very distinct local characteristics.
This is VerSe’s first acquisition after the $100 million (about Rs 723 crore) funding it had raised from the likes of technology giants Google and Microsoft in December 2020. This had catapulted VerSe to the unicorn club of technology startups that values the company at more than $1 billion (about Rs7,235 crore).
Earlier this month, VerSe received more than $100 million as part of its Series H round of funding led by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and US-based alternative asset manager Glade Brook Capital Partners.
Dailyhunt was launched as NewsHunt by former Nokia executives Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009 and sold to VerSe in 2012. It was rebranded as Dailyhunt in August 2015.
VerSe uses a proprietary algorithm to deliver personalised news content. It offers news articles and other content licensed from thousands of partners in at least 15 languages. In June 2020, the company acquired hyperlocal-focused peer LocalPlay for an undisclosed amount.