Local language tech platform VerSe goes global, expands to West Asia

VerSe Innovation, which was recently valued at $5 billion in a funding round, has rolled out the offering of its content platform Dailyhunt in the Middle East countries

Umang Bedi

Umang Bedi, co-founder, VerSe Innovation

VerSe Innovation, the local language technology platform, said it was foraying into the global markets, launching content platform Dailyhunt in West Asian countries. VerSe Innovation, raised $805 million in its most recent funding rounds from marquee global investors, which increased the firm’s valuation to $5 billion.

VerSe Innovation’s proprietary technology powers Dailyhunt. It has rolled out its offering of Dailyhunt in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait with its headquarters in Dubai.

The local language content platform will soon be partnering with news publishers including MENA Newswire, Al Khaleej, The Brew, Chalk Media, Brandknew, KKompany, Mudgal Kreations, Buzzing, Gulf Today, among others.

To spearhead Dailyhunt’s leadership in the MENA region, media veteran Shekhar Iyer has been appointed as Director and General Manager of VerSe Innovation, MENA.

“There is a tremendous opportunity to tap into the unmet content needs of the Middle East market, given the rich linguistic diversity and an extensive news consumption behaviour of the market,” said Umang Bedi, Co-founder, VerSe Innovation. “In this strategic growth plan, we will soon expand Dailyhunt in MENA countries including Iraq, Iran, Israel, and Egypt, and support languages like Hebrew, Farsi, and Arabic.”

Besides a total population of over 60 million, Bedi said there is a growing and vibrant digital audience and economy and internet penetration in the GCC countries. “There is a lot of interest in news and local language content,” said Bedi. “News is a very highly consumed category across both mobile web and mobile app.”

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To spearhead Dailyhunt’s leadership in the MENA region, media veteran Shekhar Iyer has been appointed as director and general manager of VerSe Innovation, MENA. In his previous stints, Iyer has worked with Abu Dhabi Media (Radio Mirchi), Percept Gulf (MAME), Zee Entertainment, Indian Express, and Khaleej Times. In his new role, he will spearhead strategic and business development in the region.

“It is interesting to witness the end-user content growth in this region,” said Iyer. “I look forward to building the largest local language content discovery platform for the MENA region.”

Dailyhunt offers over 1 million new content artefacts every day in 15 languages. The content on Dailyhunt is licensed and sourced from a creator ecosystem of over 50,000 content partners and a deep pool of more than 50,000 creators. The platform serves over 350 million monthly active users (MAUs) every month. The time spent per daily active user (DAU) is 30 minutes per user per day. Its AI and machine learning and deep learning technologies enable smart curation of content and track user preferences to deliver real-time, personalized content and notifications.

First Published: Jun 21 2022 | 6:30 AM IST

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