Ver Se Innovation Pvt. Ltd, which operates online news and content platform Dailyhunt, has raised $35.6 million (approximately Rs 269.33 crore at current exchange rates) as part of its Series G funding round, according to reports.
The funding comes barely two weeks after raising $23.4 million (around Rs 180 crore) from a clutch of investors. That round was led by a fund managed by the New York-based Falcon Edge.
Others that invested included TikTok owner Bytedance, Advent Management and Goldman Sachs.
This further funding has been led by Lupa Systems, a private investment company led by James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Entrackr reported, citing regulatory filings.
DailyHunt is allotting over two lakh Series G3 preference shares and 10 equity shares to Lupa India Holdings LLC at a premium of Rs 12,995.84 per share, per the report. Following the investment, Lupa will hold a 5.7% stake in DailyHunt on a fully diluted basis, valuing the Bengaluru-based company at Rs 4,686 crore (around $625 million).
VCCircle has reached out to DailyHunt on the details of the investment and will update this report accordingly.
The first part of the Series G funding came just a week after reports suggested that Dailyhunt was in talks to raise $25 million (around Rs 190 crore) in a round of funding led by Alpine Capital. In August last year, it was rumoured that SoftBank was looking to invest up to $150 million in the company.
DailyHunt was launched as Newshunt by former Nokia executives Umesh Kulkarni and Chandrashekhar Sohoni in 2009 and sold to Ver Se in 2012. It was rebranded as Dailyhunt in August 2015.
The company counts on 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 last year, the company acquired hyperlocal-focused peer LocalPlay for an undisclosed amount. In September 2018, the company raised over $6 million (around Rs 42 crore then) in what was believed to be the first tranche of a larger Series E funding round
According to VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital, Dailyhunt’s other investors include Matrix Partners India, Omidyar Network and Sequoia Capital India.
The investment in the company marks the second reported bet by the New York-based Lupa Systems in India. In January, the private investment firm acquired a majority stake in online learning startup Harappa Education Pvt. Ltd. It did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.
James founded Lupa Systems last year, using proceeds he received from his family’s sale of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s film and television assets to Walt Disney Company. Some of Lupa’s other investments include Tribeca Enterprises, Vice Media and The Void.
James’s father, Rupert Murdoch, is executive chairman at News Corp, which owns Mosaic Digital, the corporate banner behind VCCircle.