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Mahesh Murthy, Co-founder, Seedfund

Exclusive: Investor Mahesh Murthy exits media startup The Ken

24 May, 2017

Mahesh Murthy, the co-founder of early-stage investment firm Seedfund, has exited his investment in subscription-based digital media startup The Ken, after placing his bets on the company three months ago.

The Ken, run by Kenrise Media Pvt Ltd, had raised $400,000 (Rs 2.68 crore then) from a group of angel investors including Murthy in February this year.

Murthy told VCCircle in an emailed reply, “I sold my shares as I got a great exit and return on my investment. It was a private sale to another investor and I really can’t say more about it.” He declined to reveal whether he sold his stake to an existing investor.

The Ken’s co-founder Rohin Dharmakumar confirmed the development to VCCircle. “Mahesh has exited by selling his stake to a different investor. And that is all I have to share with you,” said Dharmakumar.

Murthy has been in the news for alleged sexual harassment claims made by several women who have interacted with him.

Besides Dharmakumar, The Ken’s founding team also includes journalists Seema Singh and Ashish K Mishra, and serial entrepreneur Sumanth Raghavendra.

The Ken’s other investors include entrepreneurs such as Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, TaxiForSure’s Aprameya Radhakrishna, Freshdesk’s Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, FusionCharts’ Pallav Nadhani and [24]7 co-founder Shanmugam Nagarajan.

Aarin Capital managing director Deepak Natraj, former SoftBank director Pavan Ongole, Graticule Asset Management MD Sandeep Mathur and Exfinity Ventures chairman V Balakrishnan have also invested.

The Ken competes with The VCCircle Network, which was acquired by News Corp in March 2015.

Other Indian startups in the digital media segment include Inc42, and news aggregators Dailyhunt and Tiger Global-backed Inshorts.

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Exclusive: Investor Mahesh Murthy exits media startup The Ken

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