ByteDance exits investment in Josh, Dailyhunt parent Ver Se

TikTok owner ByteDance sold its shares in the company to OTPP and CPPIB as part of the company’s recent round of funding.
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Chinese internet conglomerate ByteDance has exited its investment in DailyHunt and Josh app parent, VerSe Innovation through a secondary sale to Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), according to regulatory filings. 

This was a part of the $805 million raised by Ver Se in April, 2022, led by CPPIB, OTPP, Luxor Capital, and Sumeru Ventures, valuing the company at $5 billion. ByteDance sold its shares in Ver Se for $102 million approximately, according to the filings. ByteDance has first invested in Ver Se in 2016.

The news was first reported by Mint

This marks the exit of another China-headquartered investor from Indian startup. Earlier this year, Alibaba and Ant Financial exited Paytm Mall, selling their stakes for a meager $5.6 million. In 2021, Shunwei Capital had exited social media platform Koo by selling its share to other investors on the company’s cap table. 

The news of ByteDance’s exit from Ver Se comes at a time when the company is reportedly in talks to forge India partnerships to mark its return to India. ByteDance’s business in India was dealt with a body blow when the government banned its short video app TikTok in June 2020. Following this, the company faced multiple high profile exits from its India team.

Ver Se’s short video app Josh, which was launched as a competitor to TikTok, claims to have 150 Monthly Active Users (MAUs). Dailyhunt claims to have a user base of 350 million monthly users while PublicVibe has one million Daily Active Users, according to details shared by Ver Se in April this year. 

Edited by Megha Reddy