RP Sanjiv Goenka group acquires 51% stake in Editorji2 min read . Updated: 15 Jul 2020, 06:13 AM IST
- Vikram Chandra will continue to be managing director and run the business
- Editorji Technologies is valued at an estimated $10 million
NEW DELHI : Kolkata-based RP Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) has acquired a 51% stake in AI-powered news app Editorji for an undisclosed sum.
Launched in 2018 by former chief executive officer of NDTV Ltd and news anchor Vikram Chandra, Editorji Technologies Pvt. Ltd is valued at an estimated $10 million. Without divulging the contours of the deal, Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of RPSG, said his company has acquired a majority stake in the online news platform.
“We had been working independently to start our own digital news venture. But Editorji came as a readymade opportunity. The way it is structured is very interesting as it is an AI-driven model. It gives simple news without judgement," he said. Chandra will continue to be managing director and run the business. “We built the back-end technology and we needed scale. We have finally found a home in RPSG," Chandra said commenting on the deal. “The primary infusion will give us a runway of up to two years. We have big plans including launching an AI driven product for advertisers."
Mint publisher HT Media Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd were early investors in Editorji with close to 5% and 8% stake in the company respectively. Editorji’s curated news playlists are available to Airtel mobile subscribers. Goenka said people under 35 years of age are consuming news on smartphones. “This is something I thought would be a good fit for this age. We have plans to grow it significantly but we do believe it is a very good place to start," he said.
According to the latest report by Broadcast Audience Research Council and Nielsen, consumers currently spend an average of 3 hours and 42 minutes each week, watching videos online. With growth in video consumption coming from regional language markets, Goenka said he is keen to turn Editorji into a multilingual product, starting with Bengali.
“We will go vernacular. We can’t go to every regional market immediately but we will look at India 2, in a manner of speaking. We may start with Kolkata where we have a distribution network. There are 35 lakh homes and 70 lakh consumers. Even if 10% download the app, that’s 7-8 lakh people," he added.
Goenka said the issue of monetization of digital properties cannot be resolved in the short term. “Our horizon is not 3 to 6 months. It is a longer-term horizon. We want to scale the subscriber base."
Goenka, who also runs the general news magazine Open, recently acquired rights to publish the business magazine Fortune in India.