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HT Media: Education Portal; Cap Of Rs. 30-35Cr EBITDA Loss Per Year For Internet Investments

Media company HT Media is launching an online portal focused on education, Vinay Mittal, Chief Financial Strategist at the company said during its earnings conference call. This doesn't come as a surprise to us, since HT's Internet company FireFly E-Ventures had been handling sales for education portal StudyPlaces; FireFly was involved in talks for acquiring StudyPlaces before Educomp bought it for upto $1.5 Million. Update: following a comment (below) we checked for further updates. According to Educomp's subsequent filing, StudPlaces was acquired for Rs. 6.02 Cr, out of which Rs. 4.17 Cr was through preferential allotment of shares, and Rs. 1.85 Cr was cash. The launch of an education portal would actually be a change in approach from HT Media on the Internet: it usually tends to enter segments rather late: whether Go4i, Shine or the DesiMartini acquisition. It is still early days for the education segment online, and though it is crowded and has had at least one failure. However, HT intends to tread cautiously. Responding to a question on the company's Internet strategy on the call, Mittal said "We are very clear that we will keep making investments in the Internet, but we would cap them at not more than Rs. 30-35 crores of EBITDA losses per annum. It's not that one would go overboard. We have seen traction in Shine, and as we see more and more traction that comes through in Shine, and it becomes something that we are very sure will take off, then only…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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