CEO and Co-Founder David Wayne Ika stated that the investment is not a precursor to an acquisition
Indonesian news-reader app Kurio today announced that they have received US$5 million Series B round from its Japanese counterpart Gunosy, putting the company’s valuation to US$12 million.
Gunosy had gone public in Tokyo last year, and had also invested in several other startups, leading Kurio to believe that the company will be the right partner to fulfill its ambition to scale across Southeast Asia and begin making money from its service.
TechCrunch reported that Kurio had begun to contact potential partners in Singapore and Malaysia to begin its mission to enter all Southeast Asian markets that are using Romanic alphabet languages, with the rest following suit as it will require additional resources.
However, Kurio CEO and Co-Founder David Wayne Ika stated that the investment is not a precursor to an acquisition; the company instead aims for a public listing like Gunosy did.
Kurio also plans to test in-app and in-article advertising features with selected partners before the end of 2016.
It is also working on a dashboard feature that will help media partners plan editorial or advertising through ‘rich data across million of users’ and an ‘interest and preference graph’.
Jakarta-based Kurio received an undisclosed Series A round led by CyberAgent Ventures in September 2014. Currently run by a team of up to 30 employees, the company was part of the first batch of Google Launchpad Accelerator.
News-reader apps are often criticised by media companies for steering their readers away from visiting their home site. However, despite criticism Kurio claimed to have secured more than 200 media partners in Indonesia, with 600,000 downloads (90 per cent of them on Android devices).
“The biggest problem we want to address for publishers is that 60 to 65 per cent of their viewers come from mobile but, right now, their revenue is probably only 15 to 20 per cent from mobile,” Ika said.
“We’re working closely to figure out how to offer good advertising and marketing without disrupting the user experience,” he added, claiming that media outlets have begun to change their perception on news-reader apps.
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