Months after the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok was banned in the country, the parent firm of TikTok lookalike app Josh has raised over $100 million from investors including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft. The parent firm of Josh is Bengaluru-based VerSe Innovation. According to an official statement, following the investment, VerSe Innovation is valued at more than $1 billion. Josh is one of those indigenous developed short-video platforms that have emerged since India blocked the hugely popular TikTok in June amidst a border tussle with China. This has led to interest of global investor in applications filling the gap. Apart from this, AlphaWave and its prevailing investors Sofina Group and Lupa Systems also invested in the parent firm.
Talking about AlphaWave, it is a part of global asset manager Falcon Edge Capital. VerSe said that the fund would be used to scale up Josh. VerSe is also the owner of Dailyhunt – news and content platform. It provides content in various Indian languages. In a similar funding, Indian content-sharing platform ShareChat raised $40 million in September. The investors included Twitter Inc and Lightspeed Ventures. This was an effort by ShareChat to drive growth for its new short-video app Moj.
According to data from Google’s Play Store, Both Moj and Josh were installed on over 50 million devices each. About the investment, Google also individually announced and added that it had also invested in mobile advertising technology firm InMobi and short-video app Roposo. Earlier, Google had assigned $10 billion for digital investments in India.