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Newslaundry secures funding from Omidyar Network, Mahesh Murthy and others


Political news and analysis website Newslaundry has secured a round of funding from Omidyar Network, Mahesh Murthy, Vikram Lal, Abhijit Bhandari and Shashank Bhagat (through United India Periodical Pvt Ltd) in exchange for equity, the company announced in a post.

Newslaundry also disclosed the ownership pattern of the website and following this round of funding, Omidyar Network is the majority shareholder in the company with 18.40% equity share in the company. Newslaundry founders Madhu Trehan, Prashant Sareen, Abhinandan Sekhri and Roopak Kapoor have reduced their stake in the website to 17.25% each from the earlier 25%. Mahesh Murthy, Abhijit Bhandari, and Shashank Bhagat have 1% in the company.

Vikram Lal owns 2.5% of the website while the ESOP pool was set aside at 2.5%.

Newslaundry was bootstrapped and was funded and resourced by their production company. The company also has number of subscriptions and asks readers to contribute to maintain editorial independence.

Founded in 2013, Newslaundry focuses on news critique, news reporting and current affairs. The website also has a podcast called Hafta which focuses on current affairs in India.

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Interestingly, Omidyar Network also invested in digital daily Scroll.in earlier in 2014 with participation from New York-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF).

Other online media investments and developments

– Last week, Contagious Online Media Network, parent company of the online video creator The Viral Fever (TVF), raised $10 million in a round of funding from Tiger Global Management.

– Earlier this month, Right-wing news portal Niti Central shut down. The website was part of the Niti Digital Venture which was instrumental in coordinated volunteer efforts for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign in 2014.

– Bangalore-based news portal The News Minute raised an undisclosed angel funding from Quintillion Media, in December, last year. The News Minute focuses on curating news and content from southern India.

– DealStreetAsia, a digital media platform based in Singapore raised an undisclosed amount of funding from investors including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm, Singapore Angel Network (SGAN), along with participation from HT Media and other unnamed investors. The company plans to raise a Series A funding in Q1 2016.

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– Startup-focused media portal YourStory, raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a Series A round, led by Kalaari Capital, along with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, T V Mohandas Pai and Ratan Tata.

– In November, Media and news startup ScoopWhoop raised $4 million in a round of funding from Kalaari Capital, to expand ScoopWhoop Talkies, its video production unit.

– In the same month, Delhi based POPxo, a website which details pop culture in the Indian youth, raised $1.98 million from IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital, along with participation from 500 Startups.

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