James Murdoch teams up with STAR India’s Uday Shankar to invest in tech, media

James Murdoch Reuters

James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox has joined Uday Shankar, former president of the Walt Disney Company APAC and chairman, Star and Disney India, to form a new venture that would explore technology and media opportunities in emerging markets.

Murdoch and Shankar’s association goes back a long way. The latter was overseeing News Corp’s Asia business in the late-2000s. Walt Disney had later acquired 21st Century Fox Inc. in a $71 billion cash-and-stock deal in June 2018, which made Star India, Fox Star Studios, and Hotstar part of Walt Disney.

A report in the Financial Times said the project brings the two back together with the aim of building a “large-scale” business in areas of digital media, education and healthcare delivery, developed in part through acquisitions. While the name of the venture and its precise strategy have yet to be disclosed, Murdoch told FT that it would be a “major priority” and a “centre of gravity” for his Lupa Systems holding company.

Lupa is a private investment vehicle with presence in New York and Mumbai that has invested in online learning institution Harappa Education in India.

“After two decades of working in India and the region, at Star and more recently at Lupa Systems, it’s great to be entering into a renewed partnership with Uday. Our collaborations over the years have been immensely rewarding for consumers, our various shareholders, and our colleagues. I’m very pleased to be renewing that partnership now. As connectivity continues to accelerate and expand across south Asia and the whole region, new opportunities for innovation, across consumer sectors, will multiply,” Murdoch said in a statement.

Shankar had announced that he was stepping down from Disney this October to pursue an entrepreneurial venture with funding from global investors and that he wanted to give back to the country, community and the industry.

“James and I enjoyed a great partnership at Star and I am enormously excited to be in partnership with him again. Digital technology promises to transform the lives of many millions of people in this part of the world and I have every confidence that we can harness technology, enterprise, and tremendous talent to create a great business that is also great for society,” Shankar said in a statement.

This article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.