SmartNews: $92 Million In Funding, $1.2 Billion Valuation, 500% YoY Growth

By Amit Chowdhry ● Nov 20, 2019
  • SmartNews announced it is closing $92 million in Series E funding next month at a valuation of $1.2 billion. And the company saw 500% YoY growth.

SmartNews has announced it will close its $92 million in Series E funding in December. This funding round was from a group of investors led by Japan Post Capital Co. Ltd. and ACA Investments. Additional investors include Globis Capital Partners, Dentsu, and D.A.Consortium (Hakuhodo DY Group). This round of funding gives SmartNews a $1.2 billion valuation. And including this round of funding, SmartNews has raised a total of $182 million.

SmartNews is one of the fastest-growing news apps in the U.S. with 500% YoY growth. And SmartNews has launched new initiatives in recent months to bolster its leadership in the mobile news space. In September, the company released its “News From All Sides” political slider — which utilizes SmartNews’ artificial intelligence to empower readers to see media coverage from different political perspectives. Last month, SmartNews also announced SmartView First, a licensing option that benefits the media ecosystem and readers. This partnership includes over 30 major content providers, including BBC, Business Insider, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed, and Reuters.

This round of funding will be used to continue the expansion of its global engineering teams for mobile, backend, and machine learning development thus fueling the company’s growth in the U.S. and worldwide.

“The close of our newest funding round represents an important milestone for SmartNews,” said SmartNews co-founder and CEO Ken Suzuki. “Our investment partners have recognized the value that we provide to our readers and the media ecosystem we help support. Together, we will continue to provide quality information to those who need it, both in the US and worldwide.”

Fabien-Pierre Nicolas, VP of US Marketing at SmartNews, told TechCrunch that SmartNews has a few advantages over other news aggregation services. For example, SmartNews utilizes machine learning instead of human curation so it is personalized for each user.

And Nicolas pointed out that many news aggregators treat publishers “like a commodity,” but SmartNews works with them as “true partners.” With the SmartView First program, SmartNews is working with publishers like Bloomberg, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, and Reuters to present articles in a custom format and give them more revenue opportunities.