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18 April 2022
Josh benefits from ‘techno-nationalism’
TikTok was a high-profile casualty of India’s ban on, now, more than 200 tech services originating from China, but local versions of the short-video app have quickly attracted many users and significant financial backing.
The Josh story
Josh is one of several platforms that sprang up in the days after TikTok was banned in 2020 (others include Roposo, Moj and MX TaktaTak).
It quickly gained legitimacy by bringing on board former TikTok influencers with paid contracts and by running creator workshops in smaller towns across the country.
While Instagram is India’s most popular social media app, Josh’s founder believes the big US platforms aren’t adequately serving users beyond the metros.
Josh claims more than 150 million monthly active users, has raised $805m from investors and is valued at $5 billion, Bloomberg reports.
Josh is nothing if not ambitious: with more Indians coming online, almost one billion are expected to be watching short-form videos within the next three years and it hopes to capture half of that number.
“We run Indian-language content factories. The Silicon Valley companies have missed this learning” – Virendra Gupta, co-founder of VerSe Innovation.