Digital News Ventures

Digital News Ventures® makes seed investments in news and information start-ups

We foster innovation in the creation of useful news and information. We invest in entrepreneurs who are creating the platforms, tools and services that news businesses need to be viable in the digital age. See some of our portfolio businesses here.

MDIF has long been active in the digital media space. We have financed some of the most respected and successful online news sites in the developing world, including and South Africa’s M&G Online. Digital News Ventures is the next evolution of our investment strategy. It extends the scope of our activity beyond media companies to include platforms, tools, and services that news businesses need to be viable in the digital age.

Digital News Ventures invests in start-ups that solve problems related to the creation and dissemination of news and information, particularly:

  • Business models for producing credible, useful news and information.
  • Tools that help the editorial and content-creation process.
  • Products that contribute to the viability of news operations.
  • Platforms that generate and disseminate data and information constructed by the public.
  • Services that help make sense of the onslaught of online information, including reporting on the social web.
  • Viable, independent digital news outlets, especially in frontier markets.

Apply for financing here.

Global fund with focus on emerging markets

Digital News Ventures is a global, mission-oriented fund. Although there are no limits to where we invest, our primary focus is projects located in, or with particular application to, emerging and frontier markets. We believe that everyone has the right to access and share news and information – this right is critical to developing and sustaining open societies.

When making our investment decisions we don’t simply assess financial returns. We also take into account how our investees can help solve some of the critical challenges facing news media. This philosophy enables us to invest in projects with moderate scaling opportunities if they are likely to have a high impact on sustaining news businesses or building open societies.

NewsDay, Zimbabwe


Ending the news blockade

The launch of NewsDay in June 2010 was a landmark in Zimbabwe’s recent history: it ended President Robert Mugabe’s seven-year control of daily news.

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