In a rare event that hardly happens in the startup world, subscription-only business news website The Ken has parted ways with one of its angel investors Mahesh Murthy in a matter of four months. Both Mahesh and The Ken confirmed via email that Murthy has exited his investment by selling it to another investor.
In response to a query from Inc42, Rohin Dharmakumar, co-founder The Ken stated, “Mahesh is no longer an investor in us. His stake was bought out by another investor. That’s all we have to say on this matter.”
The development was first revealed in a series of tweets by Rohin.
@indian_sv If you're referring to Mahesh Murthy, he is no longer our investor.
— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) May 23, 2017
In one tweet, Rohin stated that it is non-trivial for startups to quit their investors and he hasn’t seen standard clauses that allow it.
The disclosure came when Rohin was replying to queries from a Twitter user questioning their silence on the recent charges of sexual abuse levelled against Mahesh Murthy by Factor Daily. At that time, an official statement from The Ken had labelled the Factor Daily article as a “hatchet job” stating that Factor Daily had not reached out for comment despite quoting in the article that Mahesh Murthy was an investor in The Ken.
Official statement from The Ken's editor on the Factor Daily story from earlier today. pic.twitter.com/Q3LdXTR6Bw
— The Ken (@TheKenWeb) April 21, 2017
However, both Rohin as well as the official statement had made it clear that The Ken condemned Mahesh’s alleged actions/behaviour unequivocally.
When Inc42 contacted Mahesh, he confirmed that he has exited his investment from The Ken.
The news site had raised an angel funding round of $400K in February this year. The investors who participated in the round include Aprameya Radhakrishna, Deepak Natraj, Girish Mathrubootham, Mahesh Murthy, Pallav Nadhani, Pavan Ongole, Sandeep Mathur, Shan Krishnasamy, Shanmugam Nagarajan, V Balakrishnan, and Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
In the digital media space, The Ken is one of the many media startups focussed on business and startups along with YourStory, Inc42, Factor Daily, Next Big What, VCCircle, TechStory and others. Yesterday, another media venture, Printline Media Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a few, renowned industry names which include, Ratan Tata, Uday Kotak (Executive Chairman and MD, Kotak Mahindra Bank) and Nandan Nilekani among others.