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YourStory raises funding; to launch Indic tech portal


Media company YourStory has 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. This is the company’s first fundraise.

YourStory will use the funds to launch a tech portal that will publish original stories in various Indian languages starting with Telugu, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Tamil. The company mentions that it will “give every Indian the power to tell their stories in their own language through text, voice or video”, so it looks like users will be able to sign up and write their own stories to contribute to the platform. However, the platform also mentions that it will have a team to create content, so its not clear what kind of publishing structure it will follow.

Founded in 2008 by Shradha Sharma, YourStory currently operates the platforms HerStory, SocialStory, YourStory Research, MobileSparks, TechSparks andYourStory pages among others.

Over the past year or so the number of digital only media publications in India has grown exponentially. Some of these include:

– 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.

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– The 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.

– In March, media entrepreneur, Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media’s mobile-focused digital venture The Quint went live. Earlier 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.

– The New York Times had launched India Ink and ZDNet launched its India edition, on their own.

– 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.

– Former Bloomberg TV India’s founder & editor-in-chief Govindraj Ethiraj’s 3-year-old data centric news & analysis portal IndiaSpend.com is going strong. They recently launched a Hindi version of the site in beta.

– Samir Patil led Scroll.in has been around for sometime now. In July last year, the digital daily raised investment from the philanthropic venture capital firm Omidyar Network, with participation from New York-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF). It’s worth noting that Scroll.in had a co-publishing deal with Quartz, as part of which Scroll.in was expected to take care of all the content, while Quartz would take care of all the monetization.

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– In June last year, Atlantic Media’s mobile-first digital publication Quartz went live in India. Quartz India offers both global and India-specific business news coverage and features.

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