NewsCorp sells VCCircle to HT Media

HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Hindustan Times and Mint, announced that it is buying Mosaic Media Ventures, the company that runs the funding and mergers-and-acquisitions focused website VCCircle.Com, for up to Rs 1 cr in deferred payments. It will also invest up to Rs 6 crore, post working capital adjustments, as a part of the deal to acquire 100% of the company from Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp.

It was not clear how much of the Rs 6 cr will be invested in the company and how much will accrue to NewsCorp.

VCCircle was started in 2005 by business journalist Sahad PV as a blog focused on venture capital and private equity. Over the next 10 years, it expanded to related areas and a size of around 100 employees, before it was acquired by NewsCorp for an undisclosed sum.

Sahad stayed on at VCCircle for one year as part of a transition program.

Under NewsCorp, the company diversified even more and positioned itself as a supplier of financial data and information.

It has been seeing strong growth in recent years, with revenue growing from Rs 9.1 cr in 2017-18 to Rs 14.5 cr in the year-ended March 2020.

Mozaic Ventures has three arms — one that publishes news, another that provides curated data for institutional clients on a subscription basis and finally an events business.

HT Media, which has found its core newspaper business under pressure in recent quarters due to a variety of reasons, said the acquisition of the ’emerging company’ will drive ‘synergies across business’.

HT Media plans to augment the ‘editorial capabilities’ of its own business news outlet, Mint, by incorporating the news arm of the acquired business.

It also said it will scale up the database and research business as well as the events business of VCCircle further.

The acquisition, expected to be completed before the end of next month, will also help the companies achieve cost and revenue synergies, HT Media added.

The news comes a day after subsidiary Hindustan Media Ventures announced the acquisition of a minority stake in a podcasting platform.

HMVL said it would invest up to Rs 4.5 cr in Parijat Innovations, which operates the podcast platform, to get a stake of 15.8%. Parijat Innovations had revenue of Rs 12.09 lakh for the year ended March 2019.