Guardian Media Group is to spend £42m of its £1bn endowment fund backing companies which are involved in “the next generation of media technology”.
The parent company of The Guardian and Observer titles has burnt through £150m over the last two years as it has sought to curb its losses.
It plans to reach a break-even position in 2019.
The company said of its new venture: “GMG Ventures will support the development of GMG’s core news business in a sector that faces ongoing disruption.
“The fund will invest in early stage businesses focused on developing the next generation of media technology. These assets will accelerate GMG’s strategy, or be adjacent and disruptive to the news sector.”
The hope is that the GMG ventures will also achieve long-term financial returns, in line the remit of owner The Scott Trust to protect the journalism of The Guardian forever.
It is look for investment in areas such as:
● Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for journalism
● Advertising technology, including new formats and fraud detection
● Technology to enrich reader and customer experiences
● Payment technologies and other customer platforms
● Tools or platforms allowing readers to act on content that inspires them
● New forms of content distribution, via audio and voice platforms or virtual, mixed and augmented reality models.
Guardian chief executive David Pemsel said: “In a rapidly changing media landscape, GMG Ventures will be an essential addition to the experience, skills and qualities of the Guardian, giving us access to the new ideas and innovation that entrepreneurs bring to the table.
“GMG Ventures will aim to secure investments in some of the very best new businesses emerging out of the media and tech space in the UK, US and Continental Europe.”
Start-up businesses interested in a share of GMG’s fund should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.