Tencent leads $50M investment in NewsDog, an app vying to be India’s Toutiao

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The improve of China’s Bytedance, an ambitious $30 billion tech company, and its extremely-addictive Toutiao files aggregator app has trigger off a survey products and companies with the same improve ability all the map in which thru the enviornment.

India, 2d in population most bright to China with rapid-rising web accept exact of entry to, is an obvious living to sight, and would-be pretender to the Toutiao crown has been found in the form of NewsDog, a Chinese company that got here upon success in India. On the present time, NewsDog launched a $50 million Collection C spherical led by Chinese web huge Tencent.

Toutiao is a phenomenon in China. The app has around 200 million daily users, and it’s one of the most few unique tech merchandise to emerge in a China the put Tencent and Alibaba dominate the user app landscape. Point in case, it’s so mainstream now that it has even flee into disorders with China’s web censors. Toutiao is in actuality a files aggregation service that lets patrons procure their daily reads and sight tales with an abilities tailored to their habits and likes.

That’s a great deal the model of NewsDog, which claims over 50 million users. The service has branched out to cloak 10 of Indians many languages, while it no longer too long ago established a platform — ‘WeMedia’ — that augments its narrate material aggregation by allowing users to put up tales, too.

This spherical is a indispensable milestone for the company. In a competitive ambiance, it is the largest fundraising spherical from a files app company in India while it extra obviously brings Tencent, the $500 billion tech huge, on board with its abilities and toughen. Other investors consist of Chinese VCs Danhua Capital (DHVC) and Anecdote Capital besides Chinese mobile app company DotC United.

NewsDog’s opponents involves Dailyhunt — which is backed by Toutiao-proprietor Bytedance — Inshorts, which counts Tiger World among its investors, and NewsPoint, which is owned by media company Instances Internet.

One different opponents is UC Recordsdata, a service from Alibaba-owned UC Internet, which, treasure NewsDog, is Chinese.

NewsDog become launched in 2016 by CEO Forrest Chen Yukun, a pc science graduate from Tsinghua University graduate, and Yi Ma, who holds a PhD from Princeton University and previously worked at Baidu and Goldman Sachs .

Recordsdata from App Annie presentations that NewsDog is the head files app in the Google Play Store in India — Android is the country’s dominant working map — earlier than Dailyhunt and NewsPoint in 2d and nil.33, respectively. NewsDog plans to make divulge of this unique funding to drag further earlier than the opponents by specializing in together with extra languages and deepening its narrate material library.

The corporate acknowledged it’s already the utilization of machine studying to lend a hand manufacture an abilities that is customized to users — the abilities that Toutiao pioneered in China — and it plans to double down on that.

“Poly custom and multiple languages make narrate material matching an extremely hard discipline,” Chen acknowledged in a assertion. “To this point, we’ve made accurate initial growth nonetheless narrate material alternate is treasure an never-ending fling. There will not be this form of thing as a pause line, it’s a have to to upright withhold running.”

NewsDog is aiming to set aside 100 million users as its next milestone as India’s web population surges. The country is tipped to set aside 500 million web users by June 2018, consistent with a file from the Internet and Cell Affiliation of India (IAMAI) and Kantar IMRB. That’s up from 481 million six months prior, nonetheless web penetration in rural areas is at upright 20 percent in comparison with sixty 5 percent in urban India which indicates much extra improve ability.

For Tencent, meanwhile, this investment is one other upping of its tempo in India.

Within the origin, the company become gradual to position cash to work in India, the put Alibaba entered early to rob stakes in the likes of Paytm, nonetheless step by step Tencent has bought its checkbook out. Its most indispensable India-essentially based totally deals consist of WhatsApp challenger Hike, healthcare platform Practo, and track service Gaana. This yr, it’s reportedly specializing in finding promising early-stage startups the put it ought to invest $5-15 million.

In NewsDog, Tencent will hope to jump on the files aggregator put together that it missed in China, giving Bytedance but another to become a indispensable Chinese user stamp.

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