Dailyhunt, a Flipboard-ish news provider app which provides local news content from over 1,000+ providers and in 14 Indian languages, is now witnessing a massive upsurge in its viewership. Its growth, ever since the acquisition by Verge Innovations, has been meteoric.
From zero views in 2012 to 3 billion monthly page views, Dailyhunt has emerged as one of the leading news-reading apps in the world. It is no wonder that this media-tech startup received $40.5 million from a funding round led by famous VC firms, Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital.
Dailyhunt’s statistics fare comparably very well against its immediate competitor, Flipboard. Flipboard had 2.5 billion monthly page views against Dailyhunt’s 3 billion+ page views. Although Flipboard boasts of a higher number of active users (80 million every month) against Dailyhunt’s 22 million.
Dailyhunt is gaining fame in not one but 19 other countries apart from India. It is the number one news application platform. It is also one of the top ten news-reading apps in five other countries, according to a survey by the firm Annie.
The story behind Dailyhunt
Dailyhunt, formerly known as Newshunt, was founded in 2009 by Chandrasekhar Sohoni and Umesh Kulkarni, who were Nokia employees. The application slowly rose into prominence in Symbian (the operating software for Nokia phones) platform. In two years, the portal gained 18 million monthly page views.
Virendra Gupta, the CEO of Verse Innovations, was associated with the telecom industry for more than a decade. When iPhones and android devices were witnessing a boom, Virendra was looking for a medium which would prove to be a successful transition from the failing telecom industry to the booming android market. Newshunt arrived like a messiah to aid with this transition, as it had already launched an android app in 2011.
Virendra came to terms with the founders of the company and acquired it. Umesh Kulkarni stayed on to handle the transition, becoming the company’s CTO. With time and hard-work, Newshunt- which later got rechristened as Dailyhunt, grew into one of the world’s leading news reading apps with over three million page views.
Tailor-made to suit Indians
The biggest driving factor behind Dailyhunt’s growth is its understanding of the Indian user base. Dailyhunt utilised the prospect of a ground where only Indian companies can find success, and that is to overcome the language barrier. Dailyhunt knew for a fact that India is not a predominantly English-preferring market. As Android devices became cheaper, the new crop of users was predicted to consist of those who have very faint or no knowledge of the English language.
The numbers were staggering, and it was found out that the availability in local languages had more potential to possess a good grip in this market. Dailyhunt’s biggest achievement was to render the local language fonts even if the device was not capable enough to do so.
Dailyhunt also succeeded in keeping the app lightweight. The application just takes up 10 megabytes of a device's storage drive. It optimised the application so that it can function and render easily on low-cost devices. The application's capability was tested in 2G and 3G connectivities as well.
Conclusion- The future of Dailyhunt
India is a vast market to cover, and monetisation is difficult in a developing economy like ours. Dailyhunt, although having a huge number of active users, is achieving a very low average revenue/user. The company has sought for monetisation and with the help from VCs, Dailyhunt stands a chance at a potential overwhelming success.
The content was diversified, hence the rechristening from Newshunt to Dailyhunt. It has also launched an in-app bookstore where you can buy e-books using various transaction methods. The bookstore has seen unprecedented success as well, selling close to half a million books every month. It is also using advertisements to boost revenues.
Overall, the app’s evolution into a multi-faceted platform will pay Dailyhunt a rich dividend if they manage to proceed with careful, calculated steps.