The holding company for local online news publication the Daily Maverick has announced the conclusion of a R12-million funding round.
The round comes in the form of private investments for a minority stake in the business, the company announced in a press release.
The funds would be used to support the Daily Maverick’s editorial operations and to “spin off businesses and operations in content production, eventing and digital advertising,” the company added.
More specifically, the round will enable the publication to redesign its website, “bolster” the commercial team and expand into areas such as business, investigations and different languages.
The Daily Maverick funding round will see investors take a small stake in the business
“This round of funding shows the support for a digital media organisation that has been slugging it out in a tough space for seven years whilst succeeding in building a formidable brand. We are determined to become the most influential political analysis shop in the country whilst the noose on traditional media tightens,” explained publisher and CEO Styli Charalambous in the release.
The publication touted the Daily Maverick’s statistics, saying it broke the 1.2-million unique browser mark, largely due to election coverage.
“Despite limitations in newsroom size, Daily Maverick also registered the highest score in the recently published Media Diversity Index,” the company noted.
Charalambous praised the newsroom team, but added that there are still significant obstacles for news publishers.
“The industry is facing an era of turmoil across the board, and the winners will be the those with the ability to run lean whilst still producing great content. In this respect, the editorial team under Branko Brkic has done a phenomenal job to be held in such high regard on limited budgets. Diversifying away from an over-reliance on ad revenues will also be critical for publishers.”
The funding comes as newsrooms around the world face tougher challenges
Charalambous wasn’t able to name the investors, but shed more light on the process.
“We can’t name the investors but they are ordinary shareholders in the group holding company that owns DM [Daily Maverick – ed]. Negotiations took about four months, pretty quick I’d say for a transaction of this nature — it helps raising funding from huge fans of our work,” Charalambous told Memeburn.
He also addressed Memeburn queries about future funding rounds.
“We will consider future strategic investors but raising funding isn’t for sissies so I’d prefer to take a sabbatical from that part of my job. A lot depends on the bets we’ve placed on our events and content production efforts.”
Update: Additional quotes from Styli Charalambous have been added to the article as well as his full name.