Indian TikTok clone gets Google, Microsoft backing in $100 million fund raise


The parent of a TikTok copycat from India has raised over $100 million from investors. Which are including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft. Months after the country banned the Chinese-owned short-video app.

The app, Josh, is one of several home-grown short-video platforms that have sprung up since India blocked the wildly popular TikTok in June amidst a border crisis with China, attracting global investor interest in applications filling the gap.

Bengaluru-based VerSe Innovation, which owns Josh, values at over $1 billion following the investment, it said during a statement.

AlphaWave, a part of global asset manager Falcon Edge Capital, also invested in VerSe, as did existing investors Sofina Group and Lupa Systems, VerSe said, adding that it might use the funds to scale up Josh.

VerSe also owns news and content platform Dailyhunt, which offers content in multiple Indian languages.

In September, Indian content-sharing platform ShareChat raised $40 million from investors including Twitter Inc and Lightspeed Ventures, in a trial to drive growth for its new short-video app Moj.

Both Josh and Moj have been installed on over 50 million devices each, per data from Google’s Play Store.

Google also separately announced the investment in VerSe. Also adding it had also invested in mobile advertising technology firm InMobi. Which runs lock-screen content app Glance and short-video app Roposo.

Google, which had put aside $10 billion for digital investments in India, didn’t provide any financial details for the investments.


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