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Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint lines up investors, gears up for launch

MUMBAI: Printline Media, the company floated by veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta, has roped in a clutch of high-profile investors for his upcoming digital venture ThePrint.

Headlining the first round of funding for the venture are Infosys founders NR Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani, Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, Kotak Mahindra Bank executive vice chairman and MD Uday Kotak, Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Bangalore-based tech entrepreneur Rajiv C Mody, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, LVMH Asia chairman Ravi Thakran, and IIFL founders Nirmal Jain, R Venkatraman, Karan Bhagat and Yatin Shah.

Printline Media will publish ThePrint, a multimedia, mostly digital, news platform. Veteran journalist Pranab Dhal Samanta is its editor.

ThePrint is built on three central beliefs.

First, that there is a large and growing audience of curious, critical, aware and questioning Indians who value the news they need, from the names they trust.

Second, there exists a wide philosophical and intellectual space that is socially and economically liberal and not doctrinaire left or right, a space for non-hyphenated liberalism.

Third, there is no contradiction between good journalism and the market-place.

“We at ThePrint are gratified that people of such eminence have backed this idea,” said Shekhar Gupta. “All of them have brilliant track records as entrepreneurs and take their money seriously. This gives a special edge to their endorsement at this early stage.”

BMR Advisors and KLaw acted as transaction and legal advisors, respectively, for the raise.

Talking to TelevisionPost.com, Gupta said that the website will be launched a month from now. “We will be very heavily focused on politics and governance across text, audio and video formats,” he said.

Gupta also said that ThePrint will be liberal in its orientation. “A liberal on society and a liberal of economy just creating a case for de-hyphenated liberalism” is how he described idea behind ThePrint.

Queried about the choice of name, Gupta said while the platform will be digital it will have the seriousness of print media.