The News Minute raises angel funding from Quintillion Media
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Bengaluru: The News Minute, a news web site run by Spunklane Media Pvt. Ltd that focuses on curating news and content from southern India, has raised an undisclosed amount of angel funds from Quintillion Media Pvt. Ltd, which runs the mobile-first news site thequint.com.
This is the third investment for Quintillion Media, which invested Rs.4 crore in YouthKiAwaaz (YKA Media Pvt. Ltd), a youth-oriented portal, and in Sheroes (Applied Life Pvt. Ltd), a jobs and career community portal for women.
Bengaluru-based News Minute was started in 2014 by journalists Chitra Subramaniam and Dhanya Rajendran, and Vignesh Vellore, a former HR manager at a software firm. It plans to use the funds to hire more reporters and enhance its tech.
“Our aim is to merge traditional journalism with the latest developments in the digital space. We are looking at utilising the funds to market our content for a wider audience and for brand building. We want to focus on UI (user interface) so as to keep the audience more engaged with the content we publish. We are also looking at using tools to improve performance and loading aspect especially with low-bandwidth connections,” said Vellore.
Ritu Kapur, who co-founded Quintillion Media along with Raghav Bahl, founder and former managing director of Network 18, will join the company’s board. BMR Advisors acted as transaction advisors to Quintillion Media.
“We are setting out to be a diversified digital content company so we are looking to see how a start-up or content portal complements, or supports, or diversifies what we are doing in terms of editorial content, in terms of approach, in terms of the kind of reach that they have. The kind of access News Minute has to news and content from southern states is a huge value-add to us. We’ve been looking very closely at them for quite some time and we’ve been very impressed with the quality of their content, the strength of their editorial and the spectrum of content that they were getting,” said Kapur, chief executive officer, Quintillion Media.
She also said her firm was not looking at its portfolio companies from a monetisation point of view right now, but at building strategic partnerships.
Given News Minute’s focus on south India, Vellore said though it offers only English content now, it does intend to offer vernacular content in the future. The website has 12 people in its team.
Digital media platforms have seen some investor interest, with about 180 start-ups in this space. They have raised about $73 million funding in 2015 so far, according to data from start-up tracker Tracxn.
Some of the other start-ups that have been funded include NewsInShorts ($24 million in 2015), PopXO ($2 million) and ScoopWhoop ($4 million).