[Funding alert] Short news app Way2News raises $16.75M in Series A led by WestBridge Capital
Hyderabad-based hyperlocal short news apphas raised $16.75 million as part of its Series A round from WestBridge Capital and venture capitalist Sashi Reddi. This marks WestBridge Capital's debut investment in the media and entertainment sector in India.
According to the official release, the startup plans to use the funding to expand its user base across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. It will also spend on hiring teams in editorial, sales, marketing, and scaling its robust AI-based technology to minimise human intervention in delivering credible news, the release added.
"At a time when existing social media and news syndication platforms may falter to find reliable local news, Way2News has cracked the code, enabling users to find credible news from small towns and villages, while ensuring depth of coverage. Our mobile-first, crowdsourced news platform, coupled with smarter AI-based quality checks, is revolutionary and sustainable," said Founder and CEO Raju Vanapala.
Founded in 2016, Way2News provides short news updates vetted by editorial staff. Known for its hyperlocal news, it allows verified stringers to write and contribute regularly.
Over 30,000 on-the-ground reporters contribute 5,000 stories from 23 combined districts, 1,100 mandals and towns in AP and Telangana.
The startup has over eight billion monthly screen views and an MAU to DAU ratio of over 50 percent.
"Way2News has shown a remarkable ability to scale and grow capital efficiently. Its user acquisition approach, engagement, and retention rates are unique and best-in-class in the industry. Its focus on providing delightful experiences to users and passion to make Way2News the largest vernacular platform excites us, and we look forward to a long partnership with the company," added Sumir Chadha, Co-founder and Managing Director at WestBridge Capital.
Investment firm WestBridge Capital manages over $7 billion in funds across India and Mauritius. The team at WestBridge has invested in over 130 companies. With this wealth of experience, the team is able to assist its portfolio companies in many areas, including strategy, operations, management recruiting, and fundraising.
(This story was updated to change the strap and add 'hyperlocal' to the first line.)
Edited by Megha Reddy