In a report released by Techcrunch, Singapore-based tech media Deal Street Asia is said to be bought out by the Financial Times. The century-old newspaper has just recently closed a majority stake deal with The Next Web before moving on to this deal, expected to close in April.
The investors of the media include Singapore Press Holdings, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Alibaba-backed Paytm, the Singapore Angel Network and Hindustan Times, the Indian media firm that operates Mint.
The investment is said to be led by the Financial Times’ Japan-based parent company Nikkei, who reportedly bought one-third of the company that could amount to 51 per cent, waiting to see which investors would sell. Another source in the knowledge of the matter said that the deal is worth at least US$5 million.
If the news is confirmed, the current investors of the media reportedly would get a four to five times positive returns from the early investments.
Deal Street Asia was founded in 2014 by Indian journalists Joji Thomas Philip and Sushobhan Mukherjee, providing daily news on Asia’s startups, financial markets, and business verticals with a subscription business option for its website. The media’s reporters are spread across Southeast Asia and India, licensed to use content from wires.
Deal Street Asia reportedly has sparked interests with its business events arm, one which Techcrunch highlighted as the possible reason of the acquisition as the Financial Times are trying to enter the Southeast Asian conference scene.
One of the events discussed was the Singapore’s summit back in September featuring senior executives from the likes of DBS, Grab, Sea, GGV, Allianz, and IFC.
So far, the Financial Times has acquired content startup AlphaGrid, intelligence service GIS Planning, and research firm Longitude in addition to The Next Web. In 2015, the media itself was bought by Nikkei from previous owner Pearson for US$1.3 billion.
At the time of the news published, Deal Street Asia hasn’t responded to our request for comment sent today.