A bunch of media companies have invested in Nuzzel, the superhot news-reader app
We're told the new investment is "relatively small" compared to other San Francisco app investments. No number was placed on the new valuation of the company. The investors include Matter, the old media-funded startup accelerator.
The investment is interesting because Nuzzel is closely followed by tech industry insiders, who believe its method of curating news headlines is superior to those of Facebook or Twitter. For instance, venture capital investor Chris Sacca, a critic and shareholder of Twitter, believes that Twitter should acquire Nuzzel in part to fix its chaotic presentation of news. And tech writer Robert Scoble recently wrote that Medium, the long form writing platform, should buy Nuzzel because "That's a SUPERIOR way to read news from people you've followed on Twitter."The presence of Matter as an investor suggests that old media companies believe Nuzzel may be a good way to build audiences for online news - a task which is more difficult than it looks. The company had previously raised $3 million and has six employees. Nuzzel founder Jonathan Abrams told Business Insider "We are thinking of how Nuzzel can work with publishers in the future, i.e. perhaps we should offer some sort of widget or way for publishers to use syndicated feeds from Nuzzel. Those are the kinds of things that these new investors will help advise us on."
Nuzzel is cool because it only shows you the news stories your friends are sharing. The result is amazingly interesting, and requires zero effort: You get a feed of headlines that feel much closer and more relevant to what you're interested in, because they're being tweeted or shared by friends, family, and coworkers. Nuzzel's friends-of-friends feed is often even more interesting because it surfaces stuff from further afield, stuff you didn't even know was news but is buzzing on the outer edge of your social sphere.
Here is the press release:
As you know, Nuzzel is backed by top Silicon Valley tech-industry investors like Andreesen Horowitz, SoftTech, Homebrew, Lowercase Capital, Max Levchin and Naval Ravikant.
I'm pleased to announce the following new Nuzzel investors from the news and media world:
Matter, the media-focussed startup accelerator and fund backed by Knight Foundation, KQED, McClatchy, Associated Press, A.H. Belo Corporation, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., Public Radio Exchange, and Google News LabGordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, board member at Business Insider
Arturo Duran, Managing Partner at IVA Ventures, former Chief Innovation Officer at Digital First Media
Craig Forman, partner at NextNews Ventures, board member of The McClatchy Company, former Tokyo Bureau Chief at The Wall Street Journal
Jim Friedlich, CEO of Empirical Media, former VP at Dow Jones, former board member CNBC International
Andrew Miller, former CEO of the Guardian Media Group
John Paton, founder and former CEO of Digital First Media, board member at The Guardian and El Pais
Nuzzel's mission is to connect everyone on the Internet with the content that is that is most important to them, in a simple experience on web, email, or mobile. We accomplish this through a unique approach based on social curation.
As we have solved overload problems for news consumers, we realized that there are also opportunities for Nuzzel to help publishers. The intersection of social and mobile platforms represent both challenges and opportunities for news publishers. Nuzzel can help connect the right news readers with the hundreds of pieces of content that news companies are publishing each day."As an investor focused on the future of media and news, I haven't seen a more elegant user experience in this space than I have with Nuzzel. Nuzzel will be a key part of the news ecosystem of the future." -- Cory Ford, Managing Partner of Matter
"As CEO of the Guardian I saw many new digital products innovating in the news/content space. Few cut the mustard. An exception however is Nuzzel which successfully declutters my newsfeeds and surfaces only relevant content." -- Andrew Miller, former CEO of the Guardian
"We are investing because Nuzzel's technology is a big step forward in speedily finding and presenting the news and information that is most useful and relevant." -- Craig Forman, partner at Next News Ventures, which also includes Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and Jim Friedlich, chief executive of Empirical Media.