2014 has been a great year for new media startups. At least as compared to 2013. We saw a few startups raising funds, big names quitting to launch their own startups and overseas publishers showing interest in India. All that pessimism around the death of journalism might be a bit out of proportion after all! Here’s a quick recap.
Media startups that raised funds in 2014
ScoopWhoop: This site which follows the footsteps of Upworthy, raised $1.6 million from Bharti Softbank, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises & Japan’s SoftBank. A valuation of about Rs 30 cr for a startup just over a year old is not bad at all. The site gets about 20 million page views & 8 million unique visitors every month (Nov 2014).
Newshunt: This is one of my favourite startups because of its local language play. It raised over Rs 100 crore (about $18 million) in series B funding led by Sequoia Capital. The 7 year old company is valued at about $150 million (according to on report). Matrix Partners India & Omidyar Network are existing investors. Some stats: Over 50 mn installs, 14 mn monthly active users and 1.5 billion page views (monthly). The Economic Times has more about it here.
Newsinshorts: Mobile app News In Shorts raised an undisclosed amount from Times Internet and a few others. The company was part of TLabs, the incubator run by Times Internet. The app aggregates content and summarizes it for readers. Medianama has written more about it here.
Scroll: Founded by Samir Patil (of ACK fame), this startup raised an undisclosed amount of money from Omidyar Network and New York-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF). Scroll has some amazing content and a light weight site that makes it a great product. It also has a partnership with Atlantic Media, which runs Qz.
IndiaSpend, PRS Legislative Research, Association for Democratic reforms: These three will receive a generous grant (less than Rs 5 crore) from the Rohini Nilekani & husband Nandan Nilekani. More here.
Some big announcements
Shekhar Gupta: This journalism legend chose to quit the Indian Express Group and the India Today. He’s now going to start Mediascape, a company which will offer television, digital and print products. Gupta was editor in chief of Indian Express for 15 years. Here’s an interesting profile of Mr Gupta and an interview that followed. Both are must reads.
Raghav Bahl: Reliance bought Bahl’s stake in Network18 last year. There’s a great story by Ashish K Mishra in the Mint about the RIL- Network18 takeover. According to reports, he’s made over Rs 700 cr from the sale. Bahl, 51, is going to startup again. It will be a digital news outlet and called Quintillion Media. More here.
Huffington Post, Quartz & Buzzfeed: Three major digital publications from the US decided to launch India editions. If you think I’ve missed something, please leave a comment.
Also see: Reporter 2.0