HT Media Ltd, the publisher of English daily Hindustan Times, in partnership with US-based media focused investment firm North Base Media, has launched an accelerator for digital media and advertising technology companies under Mediahack.in, it said on Friday.
VCCircle was the first to report about the launch of the platform early this week.
The accelerator will support entrepreneurs who want to build innovative content and advertising-related technology businesses in India. It will provide support system to entrepreneurs in terms of media networks, mentoring and initial capital.
The applicants will go through a selection process and once shortlisted, they will spend several months interacting with the leaders in media and technology space from around the world. Initially, the platform will support about seven to eight ideas and invest $50,000-100,000 in each of them.
Mediahack.in will have minority stake in these companies.
Founded by Marcus Brauchli, a former top editor with The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), North Base Media backs journalistic enterprises and digital-driven opportunities across early- and mid-stage in emerging markets. It looks at two streams for investments –media-driven and technology-related businesses that can drive media.
Marcus Brauchli, co-founder and managing partner North Base Media, said, “Mobile and social platforms are transforming the way people consume news around the world. Nowhere is that more evident than in India, where more than 500 million people will have access to the internet in the next few years. We want to help the next generation of entrepreneurs create the platforms, products and technologies that will bring news and information to those audiences.”
Rajiv Verma, chief executive officer, HT Media Ltd, said, “Media is one of the most exciting sectors in India today. We are going to provide a platform which will encourage media entrepreneurship in India. NBM with its global expertise will add to this endeavor and provide great learning opportunities for upcoming media entrepreneurs.”
The platform is also in talks with some US-based firms which can collaborate as a strategic partner or just as a VC fund. “Conversations are going on with some firms. It is too early to comment but it could either be a media company or a VC fund,” said Verma.
The platform will have a dedicated team to see through operations and will be supervised by Amit Garg, executive director - digital initiatives at HT Media.
For HT Media, this marks its latest venture among its string of digital ventures. In recent months, it has made an effort to focus on digital and has embarked on an initiative to put its newsrooms—Hindustan Times, Hindustan and Mint—on to a common publishing system.
Recently, it invested an undisclosed amount in a $100-million fund launched by Silicon Valley accelerator-cum-seed fund Tandem Capital and online job referral company Round One Pvt Ltd.