NewsHunt, an India-based mobile news aggregation service has secured Rs 250 crore in a series C funding round led by New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital, NextBigWhat reports. Existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, and Omidyar Network also participated in this round.
NewsHunt aggregates news stories from a wide range of national, international, and regional sources — more than 100 publications. It serves more than 25,000 articles a day (1.7 billion pages a month). The app — which is available on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Java as well as mobile web — has been downloaded more than 75 million times. The funding climbs up the company’s value to between Rs 1,700 to 1,800 crore, the report adds. NewsHunt has plans to introduce more categories and also work with more distribution platforms.
“The next 500 million mobile Internet users that will emerge in India will largely be local language first – they will create and consume content and services in local languages. Our vision is to be a dominant part of their first Internet experience and serve these users with world-class products starting with Newshunt, eBooks, iPayy and many more to come.” said said Virendra Gupta, founder and CEO of NewsHunt.
“As part of this journey, we wish to partner with the entire local language ecosystem and work with passionate and talented entrepreneurs in building the first real, large scale Made in India, Made for India platform. We are excited to welcome Falcon Edge to NewsHunt as we continue to further grow our platform,” he added.
The company has been aggressively working into ebook selling business. Last year it launched an ebook store for publishers wherein it featured more than 10 million ebooks in local language. It has since been used by more than 2 million users, of which 40 percent are paid customers.
For payments for ebook purchases, the service uses its homegrown gateway called iPayy which supports operator billing. It has reportedly been used by about 4 million unique customers. Last September, the company had announced a fund raising of Rs 100 crores in a series B round led by Sequoia Capital India.