News website The Ken raises $400K from angels

Subscription-based news startup, The Ken, has raised $400,000 (Rs 2.68 crore) from a clutch of investors, the company said in an email statement.

The participants in this round of funding include Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder, TaxiForSure; Deepak Natraj, managing director, Aarin Capital; Girish Mathrubootham, founder and CEO, Freshdesk; Mahesh Murthy, founder of Pinstorm and co-founder of Seedfund; Pallav Nadhani, co-founder and CEO, FusionCharts; Pavan Ongole, former director, SoftBank; Sandeep Mathur, managing director, Graticule Asset Management; Shan Krishnasamy, co-founder and CTO, Freshdesk; Shanmugam Nagarajan, co-founder and CPO, [24]7; V Balakrishnan, chairman, Exfinity Ventures and former CFO and board member, Infosys; and Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO, Paytm.

The company, run by Kenrise Media Pvt. Ltd, claims to have broken even within two weeks of its operations. The Ken’s revenue streams include subscriptions as well as brand partnerships. “We believe that in the media, revenue, especially subscriber revenue, needs to be the engine to pull the business along. Investor funding should exist to provide some cushion to supplement revenue in the early years, that’s all,” Rohin Dharmakumar, co-founder and CEO of The Ken, was quoted in the communiqué.

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

Paytm’s Sharma has also invested in technology news site FactorDaily, along with Blume Ventures and Accel Partners, according to VCCEdge. He was also one of the investors in digital media startup Dealstreetasia, which also raised funds from Hindustan Times Media Group and Singapore Angel Network.

Earlier this month, Bengaluru-based digital media company YourStory Media Pvt. Ltd, which runs, had raised $3 million (about Rs 20 crore) in a fresh round of funding from existing investors.

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

The Ken competes with a few products of The VCCircle Network. The parent of VCCircle Network, whose businesses include subscription data products, events, training programmes and a subscription-led news website, was acquired by News Corp in March 2015.

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