Umang Bedi, for­mer Face­book In­dia MD, is Dai­ly­hunt pres­i­dent

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - INDIAUNSEEN - Les­lie D’monte les­lie.d@livemint.com

MUM­BAI: Bank­ing on the rapid growth of re­gional lan­guage in­ter­net users, Umang Bedi, who re­signed as Face­book In­dia and South Asia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor last Oc­to­ber, has joined news and re­gional lan­guage con­tent app Dai­ly­hunt as pres­i­dent.

Dai­ly­hunt, for­merly known as New­shunt, is owned by Ben­galuru-based mo­bile con­sumer prod­ucts and so­lu­tions com­pany, Verse In­no­va­tion Pvt. Ltd. The com­pany’s in­vestors in­clude Ma­trix Part­ners In­dia, Se­quoia, Omid­yar Net­work, Fal­con Edge and Bytedance.

“When I re­signed from Face­book, I had this itch to do some­thing that would have a large im­pact at the lo­cal level. This is a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity to drive scale via Dai­ly­hunt’s ‘Made in In­dia’ plat­form,” Bedi said in an in­ter­view on Wed­nes­day.

Dai­ly­hunt de­liv­ers con­tent us­ing a pro­pri­etary al­go­rithm pow­ered by deep learn­ing and ma­chine learn­ing. It has over 155 mil­lion app in­stalls of­fer­ing news ar­ti­cles in 14 lan­guages li­censed from over 800 pub­li­ca­tion part­ners, ac­cord­ing to Bedi.

He added that the Dai­ly­hunt has 80 mil­lion monthly ac­tive users who spend about 6 bil­lion min­utes on the ser­vice ev­ery month.

The plat­form, Bedi pointed out, pro­vides orig­i­nal video con­tent in Hindi and Tel­ugu, and free live tele­vi­sion stream­ing ser­vice with more than 130 chan­nels across nine lan­guages through a strate­gic part­ner­ship with Vu­clip and Yup­ptv—over-the-top (OTT) video con­tent space providers.

Dai­ly­hunt even picked up a mi­nor­ity stake for ₹15 crore in Onein­dia—the lo­cal news lan­guage por­tal owned by Ra­jesh Jain and B G Ma­hesh—in July 2016. Its lat­est of­fer­ing comes in the form of New­zly, a news ex­cerpt mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion that pro­vides user cus­tomised trend­ing head­lines, also in nine lan­guages.

Bedi’s work is cut out for him since Dai­ly­hunt’s rev­enue model re­lies pri­mar­ily on on­line ad­ver­tise­ments.

Dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing cur­rently ac­counts for about $1.5-2 bil­lion of the over­all ad­ver­tis­ing pie, which is pegged at about $9.9 bil­lion in 2018, ac­cord­ing to a new fore­cast by Wpp-owned me­dia agency Groupm.

MINT/FILE

Dai­ly­hunt pres­i­dent Umang Bedi

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