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Looks like there’s still money to be made in news aggregation — at least according to the investors backing the news app SmartNews.
The company is announcing the close of a $92 million round of funding at a valuation of $1.2 billion. The funding was led by Japan Post Capital Co. and ACA Investments, with participation from Globis Capital Partners Co., Dentsu, and D.A. Consortium.
SmartNews - August - Startup - Funding
This includes the $28 million that SmartNews announced in August, and it brings the startup’s total funding to $182 million.
News aggregation apps seemed to everywhere a few years ago, and while they haven’t exactly disappeared, they didn’t turn into unicorns, with many of them acquired or shut down.
Vice - President - US - Marketing - Fabian-Pierre
However, Vice President of U.S. marketing Fabian-Pierre Nicolas told me that SmartNews has a few unique advantages. For one thing, it uses machine learning rather than human curation to “thoughtfully generate a news discovery experience” that’s personalized to each user.
Secondly, he said that many news aggregators treat the publishers creating the content that they rely on “like a commodity,” whereas SmartNews treats...
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