FT parent Nikkei confirms it has acquired new media startup Deal Street AsiaApril 26, 2019
It’s official: Nikkei, the Japanese media firm that owns the FT, has confirmed that it has acquired Singapore-based new media startup Deal Street Asia. (The Nikkei announcement is buried behind a paywall — make of that what you will!)
The deal is undisclosed, but the announcement does confirm a TechCrunch report from last month that broke news of the impending acquisition.
Deal Street Asia covers a mix of news from Asia’s financial markets, business verticals and startups… which I guess makes it a competitor to us here at TechCrunch. Like TechCrunch, it also runs an events business — its main show in Singapore in September costs upwards of $1,000 and features senior executives from the likes of DBS, Grab, Sea, GGV, Allianz and IFC.
Initially, we reported that the deal valued Deal Street Asia at around the $5 million mark, but we now understand that the valuation is between $5 million and $10 million. The arrangement will see Nikkei take a majority stake in the business, which includes buying out existing investors and making a separate capital investment into Deal Street Asia worth around $3 million, according to what we’ve heard.
Launched in 2014, Deal Street Asia never disclosed its funding total, but its backers include Singapore Press Holdings, North Base Media, Alpha JWC, K2 VC, SGAN and Hindustan Times, the Indian media firm that operates Mint, which is a Deal Street Asia content partner. Its angel investors include Vijay Shekhar Sharma — the founder of Alibaba-backed Paytm — the Singapore Angel Network and Rogers Holdings chairman Jim Rogers.
Deal Street Asia confirmed that all of those agreed to sell with the exception of Mint, which “continues to be a minority shareholder.” We understand that all investors enjoyed a positive outcome from the deal, so Mint’s continued involvement is down to strategy, not any kind of issue on Deal Street Asia’s side, a source disclosed.
Nikkei said its capture of Deal Street Asia will “deepen its coverage of the Asian startup ecosystem and tech industries, the fastest-growing sectors in the region,” and boost its ScoutAsia news and data offering.
Indeed, it looks like you can expect to see links form between Deal Street Asia and Nikkei media properties.
“Joining forces with Nikkei will help us accelerate our mission of helping the PE-VC industry and dealmakers understand the changing megatrends in this space. As we expand our reportage across Asia, we look forward to greater collaboration across Nikkeiʼs publications and group of companies such as the FT, Nikkei Asia Review and scoutAsia,” read a statement from Deal Street Asia founder and editor-in-chief Joji Thomas Philip.
The deal follows Nikkei’s majority share acquisition of The Next Web [disclaimer: my former employer] in March. As we previously reported, both of those acquisitions are part of a new subscription media strategy that Nikkei is hatching:
This is far from it for the FT in terms of deals. TechCrunch understands that the company is actively seeking acquisition and investment opportunities in media startups across the world. Beyond augmenting its existing events business, one source told TechCrunch that the FT is considering a new media subscription business, which could bundle together some of its acquisitions. That’s very much an ongoing work in progress as it seeks additional deals to plump up that potential subscription offering.
Keep an eye out for more deals, we certainly will!