Google intends to invest in two Indian startups
Google revealed recently that it is going to invest in two Indian startups, Glance and Daily Hunt, as it is making a further push into the world’s second-largest internet market.
The glance which was founded two years ago provides news, media content, and games on the lock screen of more than 100 million smartphones. It has raised $145 million in a new financing round from Google and existing investor Mithril Partners. Glance is a part of advertising giant InMobi Group. It uses AI to provide a personalized experience to its users. The service replaces the empty lock screen with some relevant news, stories, and games. Last year, InMobi received Roposo which is a Gurgaon-headquartered startup that endows it to present short-form videos on the platform. Google is investing in Roposo as well.
Roposo is a platform with short-video having around 33 million monthly active users. The users take up almost about 20 minutes of devouring content across different genres in more than 10 languages on the app daily.
Glance app is preinstalled in many smartphone models. It is linked with almost every top Android smartphone seller encompassing Samsung and Xiaomi, the two largest smartphone brands in India. The service has secured about 115 million daily active users.
“Glance is a great example of innovation solving for mobile-first and mobile-only consumption, serving content across many of India’s local languages,” said Caesar Sengupta, VP, Google, in a statement. “Still too many Indians have trouble finding content to read or services they can use confidently, in their own language. And this significantly limits the value of the internet for them, particularly at a time like this when the internet is the lifeline of so many people. This investment underlines our strong belief in working with India’s innovative startups and work towards the shared goal of building a truly inclusive digital economy that will benefit everyone.”
Naveen Tewari who is the founder and chief executive of Glance and InMobi Group said that the investment will open the way for an intense partnership between Google and Glance across product development, infrastructure, and global market expansion. The future plan of the startup is to establish fresh capital to expand in the U.S.
Google also announced that it would be investing in the parent firm of Indian startup Daily Hunt which is VerSe Innovation. This app includes an eponymous service and short video platform, Josh. DailyHunt asserts that it serves around 3000 million users with news and entertainment content in 14 different Indian languages. The startup claims that it has fulfilled a round of $100 million from Google, Microsoft, and AlphaWave among other investors. This new round has made it a unicorn with a value of over $1 billion.
Umang Bedi who co-runs DailyHuntis a former Facebook India head. He intends to install fresh capital to scale the Josh app, augmentation of local language content offerings, development of content creator ecosystem, new ideas in AI and ML and prosper in a “made-in-Bharat-for-Bharat” short video platform.
Google is corresponding both these checks from India Digitization Fund that is unveiled this year. It has promised to invest $10 billion in India in the next few years.