- India’s local language content discovery platform Dailyhunt today launched its short-video app Josh with its exclusive content creators at a colourful Bollywoodian online show. The app, which has been trending in fifth place on the Google Play Store with over 50 million downloads in a matter of 45 days of its stealth mode, is all set to fill the top spot of content creation apps that fell vacant following the ban on the Chinese app TikTok.
Since the government’s ban and its subsequent Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, India’s app developers have been rushing to make hay while the sun shines.
But for Dailyhunt, Josh is the result of seven years of persistently chipping away at the local language market opportunity. The conditions of the past 60 days proved only that at the end of the tunnel, there is gold.
“In a matter of 45 days of our beta launch we reached 23 million active daily users (DAUs),” says co-founder Umang Bedi in interaction with YourStory. It took Dailyhunt, by contrast, more than two years to achieve similar traction with its DAUs, and as Founder Virendra (Viru) Gupta adds, “I lost half of my hair doing that.”
“Local language market is ovulating right now. We’ve got a great product here, and we’re putting our neck out and rising to the Prime Minister ‘s call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. “From simple cards to multimedia cards to hyperlocal videos to a social entertainment platform — for Dailyhunt, the slow and painful journey has always been on the road to serving the middle Bharat … According to Viru, stating that these few months have given Indian companies a level playing field, “Josh’s beta launch embodies what Dailyhunt has been able to serve locals. And we’re just beginning.
During the last 45 days of its beta launch, Josh has embarked on more than 200 top exclusive creators, four mega music labels, and over five million creators of user-generated content (UGC), recording more than one billion video playbacks a day, and spending more than 21 minutes per DAU. Josh will be available to iOS users now on Android soon as well. Josh is part of the multi-app strategy for Dailyhunt and paves the way for Dailyhunt’s family of apps. “Our super-app is our backend, as Umang puts it. Today we are monetizing with advertising but we hope to make the journey from content to trade in the future. So, you’ll see us driving more categorised use cases.
From a news aggregator serving a more news-hungry older audience, Dailyhunt was pivoting toward becoming India’s largest digital media business that would give consumers the ability to discover, consume, and socialise with content — both information and entertainment. To do this, Viru and Umang changed the product to create a discovery-driven environment on the Android app, changed the feed, offered multimedia content, and reworked the entire AI-ML algorithm to drive deep personalization during discovery.
Dailyhunt has recorded a 10-fold increase in its users and revenue in the past two years alone, which has now crossed over ARR $125 million.
The company has so far raised a total of over $150 million in funding from investors over seven rounds, including Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge, Advent Management, Goldman Sachs, Belgium-based Sofina Group, and TikTok-owned ByteDance, among others.
Faithful to its vision of being a creator-first, consumer-focused, and content-forward app, the launch saw a creative hackathon with live content creators. “We are looking at this moment when Dailyhunt as a group has the right to win in the short video space,” Umang says.