NewsCred is announcing that it has raised $42 million in additional equity funding.
Founded in 2008, the company started out as a system for readers to rate the credibility of every online publication and story. It shifted focus a couple of times before settling on helping brands find content for their marketing efforts, first by licensing articles from big-name publications, then by connecting those brands with freelance writers.
Customers now include Barclays, Cisco, Nasdaq, Pepsi, Toyota and Visa. The company says its annualized revenue run rate has tripled in the past year, while the pieces of content created on the platform have increased by 182 percent.
CEO Shafqat Islam (pictured above with his co-founders Asif Rahman and Iraj Islam) said that a big driver of growth has been NewsCred’s software. He described the company’s approach as “SaaS platform plus marketplace,” where the different parts of its business complement each other — brands can use the software to plan and manage their content marketing campaigns, and use the marketplace to actually find the content they need.
And yes, content marketing has become a broadly used buzzword (basically, it means promoting your company by creating content that’s actually interesting to consumers, rather than just promoting your brand), but Islam said the industry become a much more mature, with chief marketing officers more willing to spend significant money on it.
“I’d say the types of content are changing,” Islam added. “There are some obvious changes like more imagery, more visual content, but I think what’s more interesting is the proliferation of channels where content can go.”
The next step is to continue to expanding the software, so that becomes the tool for planning all of a brand’s marketing efforts, even TV advertising: “You’re not going to be able to buy TV ads through us any time soon, or ever, but you should be able to do the planning and orchestrating through our system.”
Of course, there’s a ton of marketing software out there, but Islam argued that none of it has become as ubiquitous and widely used as, say, Salesforce has been for salespeople. And NewsCred’s background in content marketing will supposedly give it an advantage.
“Our unique edge is that every marketing channel requires content as its fuel,” Islam said.
NewsCred has now raised nearly $90 million in funding. The new round was led by FTV Capital, with previous investors FirstMark Capital, InterWest Partners, and Mayfield Fund participating. FTV partner Liron Gitig is joining NewsCred’s board of directors.