InvestorQ : With a number of Chinese being banned in India, has that helped some of the local start ups to benefit from the ban?
Dawn Cherian made post

With a number of Chinese being banned in India, has that helped some of the local start ups to benefit from the ban?

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Mitali Bhutta answered.
5 months ago
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The Indian government had banned nearly 125 Chinese apps in two rounds over the last few months. This included Tik Tok, an app that is extremely popular in India. There had been an apprehension that Indians may feel slightly handicapped without Tik Tok. If you thought that the Indian public was addicted to Chinese app, Tik Tok, just think again.

There is a new kid on the block called Josh and it is not only making the right noises but also getting the right funding. Google and Microsoft have jointly funded an investment round of over $100 million in VerSe Innovations, makers of India’s Josh short-video app and Dailyhunt news aggregator. This values VerSe at above $1 billion, making it a Unicorn.

Infact, VerSe can count some real marquee names like Goldman Sachs and Sequoia Capital as its current investors. The company has aggressive plans to scale up Josh to tap the market left open by Tik Tok and also broaden its content ecosystem. Josh also wants to use these funds raised to develop artificial intelligence and machine learning for a wider audience.

Josh has a major vernacular advantage, which matters a lot in a diverse country like India. Josh, unlike Tik Tok, is available in a variety of local languages making it more ethnic-friendly. Currently, Josh has 77 million active users per month and plays over 1.5 billion videos per day; which surely makes it a worthy competitor to Tik Tok.

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