MDIF launches digital investment fund

MDIF has launched an early-stage fund for digital news and information businesses, Digital News Ventures®.

Digital News Ventures provides early-stage equity finance from $30,000 to $300,000 to entrepreneurs whose ideas can be used to provide news and information that is important to open societies or can help develop financially sustainable news businesses. Its goal is to foster innovative projects that will help change the way the world interacts with information.

Digital News Ventures is a global fund with a primary focus on projects located in, or with particular application to, emerging and frontier markets.

“Digital News Ventures invests in the future of news,” said Syed Karim, MDIF Director of Innovation and Digital Strategies. “By financing visionary media ideas, particularly in emerging and frontier markets, we will help foster innovation in news and information, and help create the platforms, tools and services that news businesses need to be viable in the digital age.”

Digital News Ventures is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MDIF, which has invested more than $113 million in 79 independent news companies in 27 countries since 1995. It backs up all of its debt and equity investments with strategic advice and business assistance.

“We have been active in the digital media space for 15 years and have financed some of the most respected and successful on-line news sites in the developing world, including and South Africa’s M&G On-line,” said MDIF CEO Harlan Mandel. “Digital News Ventures is the next evolution of our strategy to foster innovation in news and information. It extends the scope of our investments beyond news businesses to projects that can change the way people interact with information.”

Digital News Ventures invests in:

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

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