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Rival Apple News+ Magzter is acquired by India’s VerSe.

VerSe Innovation, the parent company of Indian news aggregator app Dailyhunt, has announced its acquisition of Magzter, a well-known digital newsstand platform. Both companies confirmed the deal on Thursday.

VerSe, headquartered in Bengaluru, did not reveal the financial details of the agreement. Magzter, which is based in New York, had Singapore Press Holdings among its supporters.

According to VerSe’s co-founder, Umang Bedi, the acquisition of Magzter highlights VerSe’s increasing emphasis on catering to affluent audiences. Magzter, known for its eponymous app that provides access to over 8,500 magazine titles, aligns with VerSe’s goal of reaching and serving this specific demographic. He described the deal as Verse’s largest acquisition to date.

According to Bedi, Magzter has gained an impressive 1 million paying subscribers in India and has a global active user base of 87 million. The company has partnered with VerSe, a distribution and technology partner, to enhance its services. The firm offers an all-you-can-consume model with annual subscription fees ranging from $20 to $30.

With a valuation of $5 billion and support from prominent investors like CPP Investments, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Qatar Investment Authority, Carlyle Group, and Goldman Sachs, Dailyhunt initiated the assessment of the partnership with Magzter in the previous year. The Indian company intends to introduce Dailyhunt Premium later this year, offering users an ad-free experience along with access to Magzter’s catalog. According to Bedi, Magzter will remain an independent service.

Magzter has established partnerships with numerous prominent publishers, providing a wide range of titles such as The New Yorker, The Economist, Vanity Fair, and Time. DailyHunt is developing a customized news feed for Magzter, which will gather articles and stories from the app’s extensive collection of magazine titles.

“This partnership allows us to expand our reach and provide exceptional digital reading experiences to users throughout India. We are committed to delivering high-quality content and are excited about the opportunities this collaboration brings,” stated Magzter founders Girish Ramdas and Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan. According to Bedi, after the acquisition, they will remain dedicated to working on Magzter.

According to Bedi, VerSe, the company behind the short-video app Josh, is making significant strides in enhancing its financial performance. Bedi anticipates that the company will achieve EBITDA profitability at the group level by the coming year. In February, Eltrys reported that the startup had also entered into discussions with local social media startup Koo about a potential acquisition.

Bedi, refraining from discussing any specific negotiations, emphasized that VerSe is primarily interested in partnering with financially successful companies that are experiencing revenue growth.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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