cloud network hunting note: application SmartNews news from Japan has just won a $10 million investment to expand in the United States, more advanced recommendation algorithm based on machine learning, more popular target selection make it popular, in the application list beyond a unique, many competitors.
although Facebook, Twitter and Google sites have been able to play the role of news portal, news reader application still emerge in endlessly.
the latest progress from SmartNews, this is a recommended in the news and news aggregation matched the unique and Nuzzel Japan’s application, and introduced the application of start-ups has received $10 million in investment, to expand in the United States, especially for the San Francisco office to recruit talent. Co-founder Kaisei Hamamoto told us, they especially need machine language and data science expert to improve recommendation algorithm.
SmartNews now has 10 million downloads, each month there are 1 million active users in the United States before a $10 million investment had reached $320 million valuation. For comparison, in December 2013 Filpboard announced funding valuation of $800 million (now they’ve won a $160 million investment). SmartNews last October announced their valued at $100 million, that is to say, in the past six months tripled its valuation.
SmartNews this investment as the transition of C round of financing before, GREE led by game company, part of the investors before investment, have been carried out to SmartNews Globis Capital Partners, Atomico, Mixi, and Social Venture Partners are also involved. Hamamoto and joint founder Ken Suzuki is the United States for the larger C round of financing, at the same time to confirm some details about the new office. So far, SmartNews has received a $50 million investment.
SmartNews can enter and get a new round of investment from the previous year’s good performance. Since October 2014 in the United States, its active users has reached 1 million in the United States, in addition, in the initial release to Japan there are 4 million active users per month.
its popularity in the market also can be seen. App Annie data show that in the past few months, SmartNews has dominated the App Store and Google Play the position of the top 10, beyond some of the better-known competitors, such as unique.
more intelligent recommendation algorithm was proposed, which is more popular target population
company founders think SmartNews rapid development of the technology behind the part of the reason is that it. Many aggregation services said they have smart algorithms referring users to content, SmartNews thinks he is better than theirs.
this recommendation algorithm based on machine learning is not just concern about the opened what you point, is that where do you read in the process of the stalled, and similar to what you like to read what and where to pause, through these data in vast amounts of article to find out you’re interested in.
they claim these algorithms will be according to the user to adjust the parameters such as position, the success of the company they are. Now the company has been expanding rapidly in the more than 150 market, and it is in the absence of a large number of recruitment or financing, it is good news for investors.
“news is international, but application is not news.” Niklas Zennstrom said in a statement, “SmartNews machine learning is to, including developing countries, the key of the customers, and its algorithm on the basis of different countries and regions, pick out the corresponding mainstream news or culture related news, it is to apply news spread to key breakthrough of billions of mobile devices.”
SmartNews don’t need your social graph, that is to say, don’t have to log on to Twitter and Facebook. This has several advantages, one is to avoid the situation you met often: you can only receive the be fond of according to you, used to filter after a very personalized and even narrow information, known as “filter bubble”.
the other application is no longer so dependent on a third party, those who do not like to be social networking count of people do not have to worry about too much information. It is interesting to note that Google also took a fancy to this point, using SmartNews in Google Now push on the news.
Hamamoto think SmartNews successful another reason is that it is geared to the needs of the general public, rather than journalists, fans of science and technology, news of the three groups, some people think that a lot of news aggregation application is at this point.
Hamamoto encountered when they are applied in the development of news “power users” trap: his application on a Crowsnest is based on Twitter sharing and RSS content to recommend it, “but it’s too focused on personalization and news junkie,” said Hamamoto, “this is the reason why it failed, is also because of this I developed SmartNews, we hope that this is no longer a repeat.”
profit model: the publisher + AD + subscription
meanwhile, SmartNews another business also in orderly. VICE President of content Rich Jaroslovsky used to be a reporter, under his lead, The company is now with 150 publishers worldwide cooperation relations, including MSNBC, TIME, Buzzfeed, HuffingtonPost, VICE, Medium, Quartz, AOL, Upworthy, People, Vox, MTV News, The Verge, AP, Reuters, USA Today and Fox News.
Suzuki said every month there are more than 80 publishers have at least 1 million views through SmartNews, this for business based on the advertising is very important.
SmartNews will pay attention to profit in the publishing industry to expand.
at present, SmartNews only profit only its advertising revenue in Japan. These ads have a plenty of in SmartNews main page, have a plenty of in you some articles appeared in the process of reading. SmartNews is according to the article content advertising, such as about food in food advertising, and advertising appears in the article, benefit all publishers, so it can reduce the advertising main page. Company will soon open subscriptions and pay walls (paywall).
“A lot of publishers are interested in subscriptions, and they have had been having A hard time developing something more,” Hamamoto says. “
“many publishers interested in subscriptions, but they have struggled to create what myself.” Hamamoto said, “the content we are very welcome. We may be in the form of monthly fee, let users pay order specific channel, the channel can be on a topic, also can be a particular publisher.”
“before the number of monthly active users have enough, in the United States the application of temporary not to join the advertising, but subscriptions in line at the meeting later this year.” Suzuki said. “we so rapid expansion were largely due to this reason.”
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