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Reliance Industries invests in media startup NEWJ

Reliance Industries (RIL) has invested in New Emerging World of Journalism Private Limited (NEWJ), as per regulatory filings. Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL has subscribed to 30,000 equity shares and 125 convertible debentures for Rs 10.3 million. NEWJ has now become a subsidiary of RIIHL.

NEWJ was incorporated in January 2018, and it produces and curates content for social and digital platforms. With the RIL investment, NEWJ will developed data enabled products. NEWJ’s website announces that its “coming soon”.

NEWJ is a Mumbai-based company with 2-10 employees. According to exchange filings, Shalabh Upadhyay (founder) and his sister Deeksha Upadhyay owned 5,000 shares each in company at the time of incorporation in January. Objectives of the forming the company, per filings, are operating in broadcast, print business (newspaper and magazine), and consultancy services, among others.

The documents also states other objectives such as :

  • To work in the field of communications with men, women and machinery as well as virtual systems. To work in the field of social media platforms, cloud computing, video games, graphics, films, any type of computing machines, virtual machines with technologies and systems available today or may be available at later dates.
  • To collaborate with learning centers such as colleges, universities and other educational institutions both in India and abroad to achieve above mentioned objectives.
  • To open, operate online and brick and mortar learning centers, college, universities, and charge fees, consultancy or seek donations and financial assistance to achieve these objectives.

Shalabh Upadhyay is the founder and “storyteller-in-chief” of NEWJ, he was earlier with NowThis for over 2 years. His last role there was senior video strategist and lead, for NowThis India. He was also Editorial growth strategist for social video at NowThis’ New York office and growth and social insights strategist for a year, also in New York. He was senior manager for digital marketing and operations at Buytopia for close to 4 years.

RIL’s investments in the media and related industries

  • In October, RIL acquired a majority stake in cable operators Den Networks and Hathway Cable which operate in the cable and broadband business.
  • The same month, RIL, along with promoters of Innovation Endeavors, WeWork founder Adam Neumann, investor Tim Draper, and others, acquired a 12.7% shareholding in SkyTran Inc, a US-based company involved in personal rapid transit systems.
  • In February, RIL acquired a 5% stake in Eros International Plc via a subsidiary. As part of the deal, the two companies planned an investment of up to Rs 1,000 crores to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages.
  • In April, it acquired a majority stake in edu-tech startup Embibe. Embibe is an AI-based education platform leveraging data analytics to deliver personalised learning outcomes for students.

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