Trivone Digital Services, a digital media and content company backed by Accel Partners has laid off two teams that were handling Techtree and the website of Deccan Chronicle (DC) newspaper over the past two days.
Two employees who had been laid off told MediaNama that there were 25 to 29 people working for the DC team. They were told that the newspaper had decided to cut short the contract it had with the company. Employees we spoke with said that they were hoping that they would be absorbed into other projects, but that did not happen. According to our sources, four employees have been retained till the end of the month to take care of the website till the handover. We had contacted Trivone CEO Subramanyan L for clarifications via both phone and email, but he’s yet to respond. We’ll update in case we hear from him.
A senior member of the staff at Deccan Chronicle told MediaNama that the company is taking the operations of the website in-house, and is in the process of setting up a team in Mumbai. It’s worth noting that Deccan Chronicle does not have an edition in Mumbai, but it has an office there for Asian Age. The newspaper had been handling the website on their own, from Chennai before the contract was given to Trivone a year and a half ago.
Ameya Dalvi, who has history with Techtree, and was the Editor of IT Nation before UTV had acquired it, has left the company a couple of weeks back. Dalvi had joined Techtree as Chief Editor last year. Techtree had a smaller team of six employees, which is now down to one or two. It is not clear what the Trivone plans to do with Techtree going forward. Trivone has been managing the site, and apparently also handling its sales since it took over operations from UTV Interactive in 2011, who retains the ownership of the brand. Techtree competes against Tech2, BGR, Gizmodo and NDTV Tech among mainstream media houses.
Shifting From Running Media Ventures To Services
A current employee of Trivone told MediaNama that internally, there’s been a feeling that the company is shifting focus from running media properties to its services offerings. In November, Trivone had taken over Bangalore-based Godot Media, which offers services such as article and blog writing, copyright and SEO services, apart from handling social media accounts for clients to expand its offering. This company was bought to strengthen its service offering according to this employee.
Trivone had raised funding from Accel back in 2011, but it’s not clear how much money they had raised then, and how much of that money remains with the company. Trivone operates content websites such as TechTree.com, Channel Times, CXOToday.com, SupportBiz, chakpak.com and an automobile portal wheelsunplugged.com, and even launched a sports-focused website Khelnama in 2012. From what we were told, most of their websites are being run with very small teams compared to what they had started off with.