Published: 12/22/2020

Good morning, it's Tuesday and there's only 10 days left this year! No column today but Vedica and I have something cool planned for Thursday 👀. On to the news today and we've got a couple of large rounds including Pine Labs and Dailyhunt.

  • http://bit.ly/3h9bazz: Pine Labs announces new investment
  • ➡️ Pine Labs has a new investor on their cap table: Lone Pine (I'm surprised no one made any memes on "Pine" connection) and sources say the company raised between $75-$100M in a new round which will value the fintech company at $2B.

    ➡️ The company now serves over 150k merchants across Asia and the Middle East in over 3700 cities. The company started off the year with an investment from Mastercard and later also made a strategic investment in Fave which provides cashless payment solutions to over 50k merchants in SEA.

    ➡️ Pine Labs has seen a huge uptick in its BNPL services and has tied up with several credit providers (IDFC, Zest Money, ICICI) and has enabled it for hundreds of thousands of merchants.

    ➡️ And lastly I thought it was quite interesting that Pine Labs chose to announce this news themselves instead of through a news publication. It seems to me that more companies have been choosing this route (especially the larger ones) as they get to control the narrative of the story being told.

    ➡️ It sounds like some companies chose to announce their funding on these news publications since it helps with hiring- but companies who build their brand independently and are more connected to their users and supporters might choose to announce news independently in the future- just last week we saw Ramp (a corporate credit card for startups) announce their latest $30M round on a popular Substack newsletter!

    2. http://bit.ly/38rDqJL: Dailyhunt is India's newest unicorn

    ➡️ At some point we're going to have to stop counting the number of new unicorns in India because that has been increasingly quite rapidly (If only the number of exits of unicorns were too)! Dailyhunt's parent company has just raised >$100M from Google, Microsoft and Falcon Edge valuing the company over $1B.

    ➡️ And with this, Dailyhunt becomes the first Indian unicorn focussed on consumers who interact on the internet in local languages. The company has surely benefitted from the TikTok ban as its short video app, Josh, now has over 77M Monthly Active Users.

    ➡️ Across all its apps, Dailyhunt now has 300M users (unsure if they count overlapping users) and over 100k content partners and individual creators (certainly more of a consumption product than creation one)

    ➡️ The company plans to use the capital to scale up Josh further and invest in its AI and ML push - I haven't used the app so can't comment on how their reccomendation engine compares to TikTok.

    ➡️ This news is also interesting as Sharechat was allegedly in talks with Google to either raise capital from them to be acquired by them. With Google's investment in Dailyhunt and given the fact that John competes directly with Sharechat's Moj, I would assume those talks are probably not going to proceed any further.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/dharmeshba/status/1341052485985652736

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