This Entrepreneur Hunted Down News to Be a Leader in the Segment A pioneer in digital content aggregation market in India, Virendra Gupta acquired the then Newshunt towards the end of 2011 and rebranded it in its current avatar.

By Sandeep Soni

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VIRENDRA GUPTA (46), FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, DAILYHUNT

The personalized mobile content company Dailyhunt (erstwhile Newshunt) has been the pioneer in digital content aggregation market in India after Virendra Gupta acquired then Newshunt towards the end of 2011 and rebranded it in its current avatar. Gupta was earlier running value–added service company, founded in 2007, called Verse Innovation. Since 2011, Gupta had experimented with different technology innovations to enhance user experience much before they became public. For instance, "Reading messages in Hindi was tough in 2011 as phones at that time were not able to render Hindi fonts. We developed a rendering engine in our app to identify local language font for users to read regional language content. This was the first technology innovation at Dailyhunt and much before smartphones started supporting local languages," explains Gupta. He also optimized its app to support low 2G bandwidth phones in 2011, much earlier than other businesses started creating low bandwidth apps for low memory handsets.

Gupta now uses smart technology including artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning to offer curated and personalized content on real time basis. "As market and userbase expanded, we pioneered these technologies for local language content. The user behavior is married with the type of content he/she is consuming to recommend him/ her related content," he adds. The company last raised $25 million Series D round in October 2016 and it is reportedly negotiating backing from China's Alibaba Group. There is the multi-app strategy at play for Gupta to grow. As the mobile and video becomes the primary source of content consumption, Dailyhunt has pivoted heavily towards video and live TV to increase the time spent by users on Dailyhunt and create stickiness.

AGGREGATING SCALE LAUNCH: End of 2011 in Bengaluru

NO. OF ACTIVE USERS: 17-18m daily HEADCOUNT: ~450

CONTENT LISTED DAILY: - >2 lakh articles

GROWTH: 80-100% year-on-year

AVG. TIME SPENT: 25 min. per user per day

Sandeep Soni

Former Features Editor

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