Plans are afoot to expand to all the six GCC countries
Dailyhunt, India’s leading vernacular language content discovery platform powered by VerSe Innovation, has announced its global expansion plans.
VerSe Innovation, which is valued at $5 (Dh18.37) billion, has set up an office in Dubai whilst rolling out its offerings in all the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.
Plans are afoot to expand in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well.
The foray into the GCC market comes on the back of Dailyhunt’s success in India, where one in every two internet users is on its platform. Data shows that 350 million users access Dailyhunt for their daily news and content needs.
Umang Bedi, the co-founder of VerSe Innovation, who had earlier served as the Managing Director (MD) at Facebook India, weighed in on how the content startup was founded with “an aim to bridge the digital divide in India”.
“Our core thesis has always been this: audiences love to communicate and consume content in their native languages. There is a massive divide in India between those who speak English and live in big cities vs those who neither speak the language nor live in metropolises. Soon, we embraced vernacular languages with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This was our natural product-market fit.”
Bedi explained that the relevance of local language content is not just limited to India but globally as well. He is optimistic about the vast untapped potential of the offering in Arabic.
“Today, only 1 per cent of content is in Arabic, which indicates how underserved the audience is.”
He cited the Global Multilingual CX report, which shows “69 per cent of global consumers believe it’s very important that brands offer an end-to-end customer experience in their native language. It has become imperative to prioritise native language experiences, which also results in better response and engagement.”
Bedi finds the digital media landscape in the MENA region very promising and poised for rapid growth. “We’re working with a variety of creators, which include large companies, professional creators, hyper local creators, across a variety of genres. It’s an extremely mobile-savvy market as the internet penetration is at 98 per cent. News is consumed extensively in GCC countries, on mobiles. Besides, the digital outlay for the GCC and the wider MENA region is pegged at $4.5 billion and $9 billion, respectively.”
Powered by AI/ML and deep learning technologies, VerSe Innovation aims to take pole position in smart curation of content and tracking of user preferences on a real-time basis.
In India, Dailyhunt filters two million content items daily for recommendation to end-users in 15 vernacular languages across video, text and viral card formats.
Content curation trumps content creation in a 5G-driven world
The 5G ecosystem is essentially very fast internet and extremely powerful mobile devices with exceptional camera capabilities.
“As a result, we feel that content curation and content creation are equally critical and go hand in hand. In India, Dailyhunt curates over a million new content artifacts every day in 15 languages which has been made possible because of our rich content creator pool of over 50,000 content partners and more than 50,000 creators,” Bedi said.
He felt that considering the vibrancy of the UAE economy, their exponential phase of growth, and linguistic diversity, “Dailyhunt will not just aid with our next phase of growth but also solve the unmet content needs of the GCC market amid a disruption in the media landscape both as a credible news source and media partner. This will facilitate more page views and help monetise the digital media in the region for news content providers by creating an additional revenue stream,” he added.
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