Gurgaon headquartered mobile-based news and entertainment content aggregator NewsDog has raised $50 million in a Series C round of funding led by Chinese internet giant Tencent, reported Economic Times. The funding is being touted as one of the largest start-up deals in the news and entertainment content space.

Other investors who participated in the round include California-based venture capital firm DHVC, Legend Capital and Dotc United Group.

The funds raised will be used by NewsDog to increase the number of professional content creators in the Indian market, besides product development.

Launched in early 2016 by two Chinese entrepreneurs, Forrest Chen and Yi Ma, NewsDog is an intelligent news APP which not only shows the categorized news, but also studies users'​ reading habits and recommends news to each user accordingly. Owned by Hong Kong-based Hacker Interstellar and headquartered in Gurgaon near Delhi, NewsDog collates articles in English and various regional Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi.

NewsDog app, which is available in 10 Indian vernacular languages, has been topping the Google Play store news category since 2016 and claims to have over 50 million users. NewsDog presently has two offices in India, in Pune and Gurgaon, and plans to setup offices throughout the country in 2018.

NewsDog also launched a content platform WeMedia, which enables users to submit content. Presently, WeMedia has over 30,000 writers contributing content.

NewsDog competes with players such as Toutiao-backed Dailyhunt, Tiger Global-backed Inshorts, and NewsPoint, owned by Times Internet, part of the group which publishes The Economic Times.

Digital content-based startups in India are fast attracting the investors' interest. In February, Kochi-based inFact, a mobile app that aggregates news and infotainment content, had reportedly raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Joel George, a Saudi Arabia-based angel investor. In December 2017, Noida-based content discovery app Inshorts had raised $5 million from existing investor Tiger Global in a bridge round of funding.

In February, it was reported that China’s Alibaba group is in talks to buy a minority stake in Sequoia Capital-backed Dailyhunt (formerly Newhunt), a news aggregator and e-bookstore.

In October 2016, Bengaluru-based Dailyhunt had raised $25 million in Series D funding round led by ByteDance, a global tech company operating content platforms worldwide. Existing investors, Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital India, Falcon Edge, Omidyar and former CEO of Vodafone, Arun Sarin, also participated in the round.

In July 2016, Dailyhunt had also picked up a minority stake in local news language portal, OneIndia, for Rs. 15 crore.

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