(By Nikhil Pahwa & Preethi J)
9.9 Mediaworx, the media startup that took over Jasubhai Digital Media and raised $7.1 million from Helion Ventures and TVS Capital Funds late last year, has acquired the iGovernment.in business of Blue Slate Media. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
Sidharth Rao, Founder of Goosefish Media Ventures (GMV), which held 51% stake in Blue Slate Media told MediaNama that they have made returns equivalent to their 51% stake from the sale of the iGovernment.in business.
The holding company of the business – Blue Slate Media – itself has not been acquired. Tongue in cheek, Rao adds that the value of the exit is “less than $10 million”. GMV is eying more content verticals to incubate, and having cashed out, views this exit as a proof of concept. Rao told MediaNama that iGovernment is profit making. (Ed: the ‘less than $10 million phrase could mean anything, so readers should not take it seriously)
Founded by the two journalists – Pravin Prashant and Shubhendu Parth, both previously Executive Editors at Cybermedia Ltd – in Delhi in August 2007, BlueSlate Media had received funds from GMV to set up the portal in March 2008. Today, iGovernment reports its daily newsletter is read by 40,000 registered subscribers and an average of 3.5 lakh surfers visit its site per month. Rao declined to comment on the terms of the deal for the founders of iGovernment, and we were unable to get a comment from either Prashant or 9.9 Mediaworx MD Pramath Sinha at the time of filing this story.
Over the past few months, iGovernment has gone down the events route, with a conference called iStates, focused on egovernment capacity building.
9.9 Mediaworx owns both the magazines and portals of Digit, SKOAR and events like Industry 2.0 and the CTO Forum. The addition of a government related news and resources website to 9.9 Media’s so far technology focussed sites adds a dash of diversity to its portfolio. iGovernment founder director and editor Shubhendu Parth has said that this development will help it scale up by tapping into 9.9 Media’s existing infrastructure and people.
(Updates: corrected the terms of the deal – the iGovernment business of Blue Slate Media has been acquired, not the holding company itself)