Like my list of media startups in India that raised funding in 2014, here’s the list for 2015. The list is a little bigger for 2015, which is a good thing.
The current year is likely to be better with new funds like the Independent and Public-Spirited (IPS) Media Foundation and Hindustan Times Accelerator supporting journalism related ideas.
The company started by journalist Chitra Subramaniam Duella (of the Bofors scandal fame) and Dhanya Rajendran (Ex-Times Now) has raised close to Rs 4 cr from Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media. The news site focusses on stories from the south and has over 1 mn views a month.
Quintillion Media, the company founded by television veteran Raghav Bahl & Ritu Kapur has invested Rs 4 cr in YouthKiAwaaz, a platform for India’s youth to voice their opinions.
Shradha Sharma’s YourStory which covers startups and entrepreneurship in India has raised Rs 15.5 cr from investors including Kalaari Capital, Qualcomm and the Pai Family. Read my post on how YourStory was valued at $10 mn.
Deal Street Asia
Founded by journalist Joji Thomas Phillip, this isn’t exactly an Indian company because its HQ’ed in Singapore but will have a major presence in India. Its investors include HT Media and angels like Vijay Shekhar Sharma of PayTm.
This Buzzfeed clone has raised $4 mn (or about Rs 26 cr) from Kalaari Capital. The site which makes money by running native advertising has over 20 mn views. It was launched in 2013 and serves up viral content. ScoopWhoop’s previous round was a total of $1.5 million in September 2014 from Bharti Softbank.
Women’s fashion, beauty and lifestyle publication POPxo (Luxeva India Pvt Ltd ) raised $2 million in funding led by IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital and 500 startups in November 2015. They’d raised Rs 3 cr in November 2014 from angels including Rajan Anandan of Google & Mithun Sacheti of Caratlane.
In July 2015, Newsinshorts (now InShorts) raised $20 mn from Tiger Global, the New York based firm which has backed the likes of Flipkart. It serves 60 word summaries of news stories to its users through an app.
In February, NewsHunt (now DailyHunt), raised $40.5 mn from Falcon Edge Capital and existing investors such as Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital. The aggregator has raised multiple rounds of funding earlier and serves local language content to readers through an app. By far, this is the most successful Indian content aggregation app.
Media funding in 2016
If you are planning to start a media company of your own, 2016 is probably going to be a better year from a financing perspective. The Independent and Public-Spirited (IPS) Media Foundation, Hindustan Times Media Accelerator and Times Internet are likely to be the biggest backers of media companies in 2016. Kalaari Capital also seems to be building up a portfolio of media companies (2 in this list already!).