Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp said it was acquiring VCCircle Network, a set of online portals focusing on investments and deals in the venture capital industry in India. This is an unusual deal because we have not seen media companies being acquired in India.
NewsCorp will buy all the properties, including VCCircle.com, Techcircle.in, VCCEdge, VCCircle Training, in addition to a conference business. The deal is expected to close in March. “It is an outright sale,” said PV Sahad, founder and CEO, VCCircle, in a phone interview with HuffPost. Employees who hold stock options will also benefit from the sale. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but news reports said it is in the range of Rs 120-150 crore.
“News is not the main focus of VC Circle. Data subscriptions, events and training are the core revenue lines supplemented by content. In that sense VCC creates adjacencies to our existing businesses,” said Raju Narisetti, Senior Vice President, Strategy, News Corp. He said that the acquisition will help growth through “new verticals, deeper breadth and depth in existing businesses.” For NewsCorp, the main reason to buy was its other businesses.
Noida-based VCCircle was founded in 2009 by Sahad, who built it into a 100-employee operation with offices in multiple cities in India. VCCircle’s holding company is Mosaic Media Ventures. Sahad and the management team will become part of NewsCorp’s India operations. Sahad will report to Narisetti, and will continue to run the business. “VCCircle will remain a standalone brand and entity. We will take advantage of synergies where relevant but expect to expand VCC team,” Narisetti said.
This is an interesting deal because we don’t often see media companies being acquired in India. Global investors are betting India’s economic growth which will accelerate with the right set of reforms and investments, thus playing a more significant role in sustaining world economic growth as many developed markets stagnate or grow at much slower rates. One example is India’s wireless boom that has made the country the world’s third biggest smartphone market, paving the way for increased spending in digital content and ads.