Ratan Tata tops up investment in news portal The Print
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

News portal The Print has raised Rs 3.49 crore (around $5,35,000) from existing investor, Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, in what appears to be an extended seed round.

The development was first reported by data platform paper.vc, which said that The Print had raised Rs 45 crore (around $7 million) over the course of 2016-17. Tata alone has invested Rs 4.99 crore including the latest infusion.

Run by Delhi-headquartered Printline Media Pvt. Ltd, The Print was launched in January 2016 by Shekhar Gupta, former editor-in-chief of news daily The Indian Express, and Barkha Dutt, former group editor at TV news channel NDTV.

Separate email queries sent to Gupta and Tata did not elicit responses till the time of publishing this report.

The Print had raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding last May. Tata, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, and Kotak Mahindra Bank managing director Uday Kotak had participated in that round.

Digital wallet Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Biocon’s managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Rajiv C Mody, co-founder and chairman of Bangalore-based IT firm Sasken Technologies, had also invested.

The Print offers reportage across politics, governance, security and economy and also runs investigative reports. Its competitors include digital news websites such as The Wire, Scroll.in and The Quint.

Deals in the space

A few days ago, The Ken, a subscription-based news startup, raised around $228,000 (Rs 1.48 crore) from a group of individual investors in its second round of funding.

Paytm’s Sharma is also an investor in The Ken as well as technology news portal FactorDaily. He was also one of the investors in digital media startup DealStreetAsia.

Last February, UC-RNT Fund, which is a joint venture between the University of California and Tata, had topped up its investment in Bengaluru-based digital media company YourStory Media Pvt. Ltd, which runs YourStory.com.

YourStory competes with a few products of The VCCircle Network.

In February this year, Kochi-based Quadzeta Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates inFact, a mobile app which aggregates news and infotainment content, raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Joel George, a Saudi Arabia-based angel investor.

Last December, news curation app Inshorts had raised $5 million (Rs 32.2 crore) from existing investor Tiger Global in a bridge round of funding.

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