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MDIF Ventures invests in startups The Morning Context and Datasketch

Photo: Datasketch

MDIF Ventures, Media Development Investment Fund’s $1 million fund investing in young media companies with positive social impact serving audiences in countries where access to free and independent news and information is under threat, today announced that it has invested in the India-focused The Morning Context and the Colombia/US startup Datasketch.

The Morning Context is a research and media company that provides original, deeply researched and analytical long-form stories and curated newsletters about the “internet, business and chaos”, with an India-specific, public interest lens.

Datasketch is a Colombia/US-based technology startup that provides small organisations and individuals with access to data visualisation tools and facilitates knowledge-sharing to promote informed debate about public issues.

“We are delighted to invest in The Morning Context and Datasketch, two very different companies but both meeting MDIF Ventures’ objectives of creating positive social impact and having potential to scale,” said Marie Nemcova, MDIF Chief Operating Officer. “We are look forward to joining The Morning Context and Datasketch on their journeys as they build strong, innovative media businesses that create positive change.”

Photo: TMC

“More than an investor in Datasketch, MDIF is a strategic partner,” said Juan Pablo Marin, CEO and Co-founder. “They can help us reach new markets and incorporate learnings from media organisations from all over the world.”

“MDIF’s investment is a huge boost to our confidence and ambition to continue doing honest and independent journalism, built around a subscriptions business model,” said Priya Bubna, CEO of The Morning Context. “We are glad to have MDIF support us in our mission.”

“Fearless business journalism has never been more important or urgent,” said Ashish K. Mishra, Editor-in-Chief of The Morning Context. “Businesses play a significant role in shaping life and society and the legacy media model with its roots in advertising has failed readers. A subscriptions business which speaks directly with readers and helps them arrive at an unbiased, independent world view is what The Morning Context is building. I am extremely glad to have MDIF partner with us in this mission.”

MDIF Ventures made its first two investments in Nigeria’s Dataphyte and Mozambique’s Zitamar News earlier this month. MDIF has previously made early-stage investments in leading independent media companies worldwide, including Scroll.in, KataData, Malaysiakini, Mic, Hashtag Our Stories, Colab, Red/Acción, Volume, and OnionDev/GramVaani. MDIF early-stage companies have reached more than 50 million people in countries such as India, Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil.

About Media Development Investment Fund

Media Development Investment Fund is a not-for-profit investment fund based in New York, United States. It provides debt and equity financing supported by technical assistance to independent media companies in countries where access to free and independent media is under threat. With more than $119 million assets under management, since 1996 MDIF has invested almost $255 million in 131 independent media businesses in 44 countries. Its investments help independent media around the world provide the news, information and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies.

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