Qatar Sovereign Wealth Backs Murdoch and Shankar’s New Media Platform

Posted on 02/09/2022

James Murdoch, a son of Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation, most recently served as CEO of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to 2019 and Co-Chief Operating Officer 21st Century Fox from 2013 to 2015. James Murdoch subsequently quit as a director of News Corporation in July 2020.

James Murdoch is the CEO of Lupa Systems LLC, a private holding company founded in March 2019. Lupa Systems has offices in New York and Mumbai. Collectively, the Lupa team has extensive experience building and scaling businesses across the globe in multiple industries. Lupa focuses on companies within the technology and media industries, impact-driven companies focused on environmental sustainability, and emerging markets, particularly within the Indo-Pacific region. Lupa Systems has invested in Morning Consult, Verse Innovation, Doubtnut, Kinema, Harappa Education, French digital media firm Brut, Synthetaic, Farmers Business Network, and Greenlight Biosciences.

Uday Shankar is the former Chairman and CEO of Star India and the former President of Walt Disney Asia Pacific (The Walt Disney Company). Shankar is credited with consolidating Star’s sports broadcasting operations through 21st Century Fox’s acquisition of its joint venture with ESPN.

Lupa Systems and Uday Shankar formed a new venture called Bodhi Tree in January 2021. Bodhi Tree is an investment platform that will be financially supported by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a sovereign wealth fund. This new venture is designed to invest in media and consumer technology opportunities in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on India. QIA will be committing up to US$ 1.5 billion in Bodhi Tree’s vision being pursued by Murdoch and Shankar. QIA is investing in the technology and media space and India is a key market for them.

The newly formed venture will be run by James Murdoch and Uday Shankar as co-chairs.

Earlier, James Murdoch and Shankar had teamed up to float a blank check company (SPAC) called Seven Islands Inc.

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