medium

Collaborative publishing service Medium has raised $57 million in a Series B round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and with significant participation from existing investors Google Ventures and Greylock Partners, reports YourStory. Other investors to participate in the round included Obvious Ventures, The Chernin Group and other Series A investors.

The platform had earlier raised $25 million in a Series A round of funding led by Greylock partners in January 2014. Note that Medium had opened up to allow anyone to publish in October 2013, and as of now, it claims that over 20,000 people write on it each week.

Founded in 2012 by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Medium is a blog publishing platform that lets professionals, non-professionals and paid contributors publish on the platform. Readers are displayed with a list of top stories by default, although users can signup and follow certain tags. On signing up, users are also promoted to follow certain authors based on the tags selected.

Any logged in user can publish a story by clicking on the ‘Write a Story’ option, which then displays a clean interface where users can type in the title and content of their story. The editor also allows users to add hyperlinks, formatting and tags before publishing, as well as check revision history etc. It also allows publishers to share their published story via social media. Interestingly, Medium claims not to focus on the number of page hits it gets, rather preferring to measure popularity based on the time readers spent interacting with the website.

Note that various digital media platforms in India also follow a similar format. Most notably, India Group’s DailyO, which launched in September last year, lets users publish stories in various categories like politics, sports, life, sci-tech, money, humour and art & culture, with just a Twitter login. Similarly, online news and views platform YouthKiAwaaz, which raised Rs 4 crore (~$600k) earlier this month from Quintillion Media, lets users contribute content by signing in using a Facebook, Google+ or Twitter account.

Other investments in digital publishing & media:

– 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.