We’re pleased to announce that Matter is making a follow-on investment in the trending stories platform, NewsWhip. The Dublin, Ireland-based company has raised $6.4M from investors in its Series A funding round, led by Tribal Ventures. Other participants include our partner, The Associated Press, clients of Cantor Fitzgerald, and Japanese newspaper, The Asahi Shimbun.
“Having worked with Paul, Andrew, and the rest of the NewsWhip team since participating in their seed round two years ago, I have been incredibly impressed with how fast they have been able to move,” says Matter’s Managing Partner, Corey Ford. “They found a deep need in the media industry, solved it with a highly technical but also highly usable product, and then grew their customer base rapidly. When it came time for their Series A, it was a no-brainer to double down on them.”
This investment is targeted at further development of NewsWhip’s existing digital tools, “Spike” and “Analytics”, which newsrooms around the world use to identify emerging stories, events and trends across social media. Leading publishers such as the BBC, The Guardian, and The Washington Post are among its 400+ customers. Editors use the technology to direct their reporters to stories that are starting to gain momentum.
Major global brands including Reebok, Edelman, and MasterCard are also subscribers. Companies are increasingly seeing the value in being able to predict breaking news stories and understand consumption habits to create relevant editorial agendas and marketing campaigns amid a cacophony of brand voices.
Matter introduced NewsWhip to The Associated Press, which swiftly became another customer. “NewsWhip has transformed how our newsroom tracks and responds to news developments trending in the social networks,” says Jim Kennedy, SVP for Strategy and Enterprise Development at the AP. “It was a fragmented pursuit, using many different tools, before Spike came along. Then, we worked with them to build a separate product to track the usage of our content generally, which has been an even bigger success. We can see who’s using what and then track how well our customers are doing with our content in the social spaces. And, now comes Analytics, with a historical view back three years, the key space of time for the rise of social. An amazing set of tools.” Jim, who is also on the Matter advisory board, will join NewsWhip’s board as an observer.
Matter invested in NewsWhip’s seed round in 2015. The deal was sourced by leveraging the Kauffman Fellows network, and exemplifies the value of looking outside Silicon Valley, and the United States, for mission-driven media startups making real change in the world. NewsWhip had begun life as a content play, a kind of Huffington Post for Ireland, but its founders soon realized they didn’t want to “make more stuff for the Internet,” they wanted to cut through the noise.
NewsWhip’s technology analyzes millions of stories, social media posts, and videos each hour to find the stories that matter. It has ambitious expansion plans, particularly with regards to leveraging its huge repository of social media data built up over the years, and with adding video content-sharing to its analytics with more advanced machine learning. “As we’ve grown, so has our ambition,” says CEO Paul Quigley. “We now recognize how much work we have ahead with integrating bigger datasets, demographics and core machine learning capabilities.”
Quigley and his co-founder Andrew Mullaney won the Emerging category at the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2016.
NewsWhip will also use the fresh investment to further grow its 50-strong team, which is split between Dublin and New York City, with key hires in product, machine learning, commercial strategy, marketing and sales.
Matter is an SF & NYC-based startup accelerator and venture capital firm grounded in the principles of design thinking that supports early-stage media entrepreneurs and mission-aligned media institutions building scalable ventures that make society more informed, inclusive, and empathetic.
Our mission has never been more important than it is today. We are looking for scrappy entrepreneurs inspired to make real change. Our next cohort starts on June 5th. Apply now.