Google investments helped create India’s two youngest technology unicorns: a pair of startups that feed personalized news and entertainment to the world’s fastest-growing smartphone population.
Glance, which feeds news and sports scores to phone-lock screens, is said to have reached a valuation of more than $1 billion after completing a funding round led by Google. And VerSe Innovation Pvt, the studio behind the popular Dailyhunt news site and TikTok-like Josh app, said it passed that threshold after winning more than $100 million from Alphabet Inc.’s search giant and Microsoft Corp.
“In the last two years alone, 100 million new internet users have come online from rural India,” Google Vice President Caesar Sengupta wrote in a blog post-Tuesday, announcing its investment in VerSe. “But many of these internet users continue to have trouble finding content to read or services they can use confidently, in their own language.”
Glance currently has 115 million daily active users who average 25 minutes on the app each day. The app operates only in the Android ecosystem and has partnered with leading device makers including Samsung Electronics Co., Xiaomi Corp., Oppo, and Vivo.