India’s VerSe acquires Apple News+ rival Magzter

VerSe Innovation, the parent firm of Indian news aggregator app Dailyhunt, has acquired the popular digital newsstand firm Magzter, the two said Thursday.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup has fully acquired Magzter, a New York-headquartered firm that counted Singapore Press Holdings among its backers. VerSe didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The acquisition of Magzter, which offers more than 8,500 magazine titles on its eponymous app, underscores VerSe’s growing focus to reach and serve the affluent audience, VerSe co-founder Umang Bedi told TechCrunch in an interview. He called Magzter Verse’s “largest” acquisition deal to date.

Magzter has amassed over 1 million paying subscribers in India and boasts a global active user base of 87 million, Bedi said. The firm, which offers an all-you-can-consume model with annual subscription fees ranging from $20 to $30, will find a distribution and technology partner in VerSe, he added.

Dailyhunt began evaluating the deal with Magzter last year. The Indian firm plans to launch Dailyhunt Premium this year that will include an ad-free experience as well as Magzter’s catalog. Magzter will continue to operate as a standalone service as well, Bedi said.

Magzter maintains partnerships with thousands of large publishers and offers titles including The New Yorker, The Economist, and Time on its app. DailyHunt is working to introduce a personalized news feed in Magzter that will curate articles and stories from the digital newsstand app’s extensive catalogue of magazine titles.

This is a developing story. More to follow.

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