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NewsDog Raises $50M in a Tencent-Led Series C Financing Round

NewsDog is best known for its advanced machine learning capabilities that enable a personalized content feed for users, matching their preferences.

NewsDog’s Founder and CEO Forrest Chen

NewsDog, an India-focused entertainment platform, has successfully completed its Series C funding round, raising $50 million to further solidify its position in the burgeoning Indian digital content market. Led by global internet company Tencent, followed by DHVC, Legend Capital and Dotc United Group, NewsDog’s latest fundraise counts as one of the largest in the Indian digital content industry.

NewsDog ranks first in the News category on Google play (India), with over 50 million users, and is available in 10 local languages. Mobile-based news aggregator application also launched a content platform called WeMedia allowing users to submit content. Till now, there are more than 30,000 writers contributing contents regularly. 

NewsDog plans to use the round proceeds to pursue its vision of empowering individuals and professional content creators to showcase their work and reach the digital mass public. The company is adopting blockchain technology to grow faster and make the content ecosystem transparent.

“Indian digital content industry is just getting started. Poly culture and multiple languages make content matching an incredibly hard problem. We believe that strong machine learning capabilities will be pivotal in scaling content platforms in India.” says NewsDog’s Founder and CEO Forrest Chen, a Tsinghua University graduate and a successful serial entrepreneur. He adds, “So far, we have made good initial progress but content business is like an endless journey. There is no finish line, you have to just keep running." 

NewsDog currently has two offices in India, in Pune and Gurugram, and plans to set up offices throughout the country in 2018. The contents aggregating app company aims at doubling its employee strength as it targets next 1 billion Indian users. 

NewsDog is building a content ecosystem around text, image, and video. The app is tailor-made for low-cost smartphones, which comprise a majority of smartphone sales in the country. 

The company competes with the likes of players such as Toutiao-backed Dailyhunt, Alibaba-owned UC News and Tiger Global backed Inshorts. Dailyhunt had raised $25 million Series D round led by ByteDance in October 2016 and also in talks with Alibaba for selling a minority stake. In December 2017, Inshorts had raised $5 million funding from Tiger Global Management.

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