youthkiawaaz

Online news and views platform YouthKiAwaaz has raised Rs 4 crore (~$600k) in a round of seed funding from Raghav Bahl led Quintillion Media. The platform will use the funding for expanding its team and business and investing in technology.

Founded by Anshul Tewari, YouthKiAwaaz claims to completely crowdsource its content. To contribute content, users only need to sign in using Facebook, Google+ or Twitter after clicking on the submit link. Users are then prompted to enter their names, email ids, topic of contribution, the article to be posted and attachments if any. The platform mentions that all submissions are (obviously) subject to editorial review.

As of now, users can write anything from analysis to opinions on politics, art and culture and personal stories, to issue centric writings. Interestingly, earlier in March, media entrepreneur Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media’s mobile-focused digital venture The Quint went live. In January, The Quint had started publishing stories on Facebook as a preview to the new service. The website publishes news and analysis across various categories like politics, technology, entertainment, business and sports.

Developments in the publishing industry:

– Last month, media company YourStory raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a series A round of funding led by Kalaari Capital and with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, T V Mohandas Pai and Ratan Tata. The company said it would use the funds to launch a tech portal that would publish original stories in various Indian languages starting with Telugu, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Tamil.

– The same month Growthword Digital Private Limited, the holding company of technology news portal iamWire raised an undisclosed amount of funding from China-based investors and high net worth individuals in India. The company said it would use the funds for building scalable technology for startups, while a part of the funds will also be utilized to innovate on content to further grow the community.

– In March, News Corp acquired the specialty media business VCCircle for an undisclosed amount. According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, Mosaic Media Ventures had raised Rs 1.48 crore in FY12 from 9 investors, including Gulu Mirchandani, Gopal Srinivasan, Shantanu Surpure, Arun Duggal, Suresh Shanmugham, Ashit Ranjit Lilani, Suresh Raju, Siddharth Mehta, and Essay Commercial Services (which put in Rs 50 lakh).

– In May, former editor of The Hindu Siddharth Varadarajan and one of the founding editors of DNA Sidharth Bhatia launched an online news publication called The Wire.  The platform had said then that it was looking to raise Rs 10-12 crore in the next six months.

–  In June, Rajasthan Patrika publisher The Patrika Group launched its first English news website called Catch, a month after it announced it would. The Patrika Group claimed that Catch would report on everyday policies and events with a focus on public interest.

– Well-known international digital publications like The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed also launched India editions last year – Buzzfeed in August and The Huffington Post in December. Interestingly, former Quartz India editor Sruthijith KK was appointed editor of Huffington Post India.