Content Marketing Shop NewsCred Raises $42 Million

NewsCredNewsCred, a maker of content marketing software for enterprise brands like Barclays, Toyota and Conair, has raised $42 million in growth equity led by FTV Capital – bringing its total to $88.8 million.

NewsCred’s co-founder and CEO, Shafqat Islam, has voiced concerns in the past regarding oversaturation in the content marketing technology category, citing $100 million in VC-backed deals in one quarter of 2014 alone.

“Plenty of money continued to pour into the space during the last 12 months,” he told AdExchanger. “We’ve raised the most money and are the biggest company in the space in terms of mass. However, given macroeconomic conditions, I do think we’ll start to see a slowdown in industry investment. … It may become more difficult for smaller companies to raise additional capital.”

NewsCred, which employs 200 and seeks to grow its headcount to 300-400 by the end of 2016, will use its growth equity injection to double its sales team and expand internationally in new markets, including the Asia-Pacific region.

It will also invest in R&D, evaluate acquisition targets and expand its Audience Insights platform (which pixels content to determine whether or not it drove consumer action, like a newsletter sign up or a form fill), said Islam. 

NewsCred’s content marketing platform is used by brands, agencies, and publishers. It has content planning and workflow collaboration, analytics and publishing tools hooked into content management systems, social platforms and email clients.

NewsCred also offers brands licensed content (full-text articles, images and videos) from about 5,000 publishers such as Dow Jones, Food52 and New York magazine. NewsCred’s network of creators and bloggers create content for brands on a custom basis.

The proliferation of channels, particularly around connected devices, live-streamed video and newer, emerging outlets like virtual reality are confusing for marketers who may wish to explore a presence there, but may struggle to populate it with relevant or high-quality content, according to Islam.

“The emergence of video has been massive,” Islam noted. “Not just traditional video, but the emergence of short-form video. Facebook is dominating the video space, but I’m particularly interested in the emergence of chat platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp. We think that may be the next big platform.”

While NewsCred often goes up against content marketing shops like Contently and Percolate, native advertising is changing its competitive landscape as companies like Sharethrough and ShareThis pave programmatic inroads with publishers.

“Growth and developments in native advertising have only helped us,” Islam claimed. “The standards that are being put in place help on two fronts: They help us build trust and drive quality, and they help technology companies scale given more standardization.”


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