Josh, a TikTok clone gets Google, Microsoft backing in $100 million funding

Josh is one of the several home-grown short-video platforms that have come up since the government blocked TikTok
 Josh, a TikTok clone gets Google, Microsoft backing in $100 million funding
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It has been almost half a year since dozens of Chinese mobile apps were banned in India amidst a border crisis with China. Among the apps, the ban on TikTok, a globally popular short video sharing app left an impact on many an Indian, as TikTok’s popularity among them was skyrocketing, especially during the coronavirus-related lockdown.

Several startups, however, decided to make hay while the sun shines by launching short video-sharing apps, similar to that of TikTok, within a month of the ban. Among the more popular of those apps, today are Josh, TakaTak, and Moj.

Bengaluru-based VerSe Innovation, the Indian parent of the TikTok clone Josh, has raised more than $100 million from investors including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft, months after the Chinese-owned short-video app was banned in the country. VerSe also owns Dailyhunt, a news and content platform, which offers content in multiple Indian languages.

Josh, which launched in July is now regarded as a leader among Indian short video-sharing apps. The app has been installed on more than 50 million devices according to data from Google's Play Store.

While blocking a slew of apps and games with links to China, the list by the government, also included popular game PUBG. What is interesting to note is that a few days after the PUBG ban, FAU-G, a multiplayer game developed by nCore Games, a Bengaluru-based company, was launched by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.

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In a tweet, the actor said: “Supporting PM @narendramodi's AtmaNirbhar movement, proud to present an action game, Fearless And United-Guards FAU-G. Besides entertainment, players will also learn about the sacrifices of our soldiers. 20% of the net revenue generated will be donated to@BharatKeVeerTrust #FAUG.”

Meanwhile, PUBG Corporation issued a press release announcing its comeback to India with PUBG Mobile India. While the PUBG Corp is struggling to bring the game back to India the global version has received numerous updates. The global 1.2 beta version has started rolling out to users worldwide.

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