The Ken raises fresh funding from JP Morgan directors, others

The Ken

Subscription-based online media publication, The Ken has raised Rs 1.47 crore from a set of new angel investors. Siddharth Bhammar (Executive Director – JP Morgan), Anchal Jain (former MD FX Options – JP Morgan), and Murali A (MD – Graticule Asset Management Asia and ex-Fortis) participated in the round.

This is the second round of angel round for the Bengaluru-based publication. It provides one original narrative story every day (behind a paywall) for five days in a week. Notably, the publication also publishes a free story every week on Wednesday.

Founded by veteran journalists Seema Singh, Rohin Dharmakumar, Ashish Mishra, and Deck App founder Sumanth Raghavendra – The ken had earlier secured $400K from bluechip angels including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Girish Mathrubhootham, Shan Krishnasamy and Pallav Nadhani amongst others.

Currently, it has 13 writers who provide well researched long-form articles across segments such as technology, business, science, and healthcare.

Over the past couple of years, the subscription-led model has been a focus for emerging as well as traditional publications globally. On the lines of global media conglomerates such as New York Times, Financial Times and several others, Business Standard in 2016 had introduced paywall behind some of its content, including columns.

The country’s largest media group Times of India Group and a slew of other traditional media houses are slated to kick-off subscription-based content tailored for premium readers. So far, The-Ken has been able to create a decent reader base that strengthens the belief that Indian audience is ready to pay if the content is consistent and worthy.

Unlike pre-2015 era, digital media publications have been able to convince that media businesses are fundable. Bangalore-based tech media and startup platform YourStory has raised a little over $10 million in total funding across two rounds from Kalaari Capital, Ratan Tata, Qualcomm, 3ONE4 Capital and UC-RNT Fund.

Other digital media platforms including YouthKiAwaaz, ScoopWhoop, INC42, News Minute and Newslaundry has also raised funding in the past.

While funding activities are on increase in new age digital publications, building VC-fundable media play is difficult in India. Except for YourStory and VCCircle, none of the technology and startups-focused media companies have been able to onboard large investors.

The development was first reported by paper.vc.

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