Network18 founder Raghav Bahl’s upcoming digital news venture is called Quintillion Media, which incidentally means 10^18, a nod to his Network18 roots, although this is a bigger number.
The details on Quintillion Media is a bit sparse at the moment, although Bahl’s wife and Quintillion Media director Ritu Kapur’s LinkedIn profile suggests that they will launching a mobile first news product.
A NewsMinute report also suggests that the company has formed a 20 member team consisting of editorial, marketing and brand management and the site will launch by the end of Q1 2015. In July this year, Bahl had mentioned that they will begin with Hindi and English, and then move to regional news.
The printing press of the 21st century is the publishing algorithm of a mobile news app! Lessons from America.
— Raghav Bahl (@Raghav_Bahl) July 30, 2014
Who is in the team? Former FirstPost editor-at-large Dhiraj Nayyar has been appointed as the managing editor at Quintillion Media, while former Web18 VP Roshan Tamang has been roped in as digital media consultant for Bahl-controlled RB Investments Ltd. Quintillion Media seems to have also roped in several journalists including former CNN IBN journalist Toral Varia who has been appointed as associate editor, India Today’s Jaskirat Singh Bawa, IndiaSpend deputy editor Sanjit Oberai, former CNN IBN news editor Girish Nair and DNA’s Namita Handa among others. What’s worth noting that most of these journalists seems to have worked at Network18 at some point in time.
Kapur’s LinkedIn profile suggests that they are also hiring “NewsHound, Writer, Curator, Data Visualiser, Social Media specialist, Digital marketing Specialist, Graphic designers and UI/UX designers” among others.
Update: It seems like Dhiraj Nayyar has quit the company earlier this month. (hat tip – Rohan Venkataramakrishnan)
Today marks the end of an exciting professional journey with @Raghav_Bahl.Wish him well on his new venture.No conspiracy in departure! 1/2
— Dhiraj Nayyar (@nayyardhiraj) November 3, 2014
There also seems to be a platform approach to this, since we spotted a newsroom management and digital publishing service called Quintype. The company is based in San Franscisco and is co-founded by Bahl, Kapur & Amit Rathore. Rathore is the CEO & chief product officer at Quintype and prior to this, he was heading Staples’s Innovation Labs in California. Quintype’s site also suggests that Quintillion Media is its first customer & investor.
Quintype claims to offer a cloud-based solution for publishers to manage editorial assignments & collaborating editing, publish to various formats including mobile phones, tablets, desktop and develop apps for iOS & Android. Other features include predictive analytics for scheduling articles, reader management, social media integration, content recommendation engine and an integrated ad engine among others.