Newstag secures $1.3m in first round of seed funding

Newstag, a Swedish-based crowd-curated video news service, has secured $1.3 million of seed funding. A group of private and institutional investors have backed the media start-up to develop its innovative approach to news sharing through social media.

Newstag will bring together video news stories from content producers around the world, including AP and Reuters, as well as brands and NGOs. The ‘mobile-first’ service will enable users to create personalised video newscasts on their smartphones, tagging news, brands and NGOs to create relevant and customised feeds to consume and share with their peers through social networks.

Value will be created through advertising and revenues will be distributed within the system. Once they’ve reached a certain level, users can spend their income or choose to make a difference by allocating money to causes and research projects they find relevant.

“We are delighted to see our new investors recognising the huge potential that our news service offers,” said Henrik Eklund, Newstag CEO. “These funds will enable us to expand our global presence faster and it is an important step towards our vision to create the world’s most sustainable and relevant news source; a platform where we enable people to take a meaningful part in the global newsflow. By combining the crowd and the individual with our smart tagging system we can create a difference. The user will be the newsflow – you’re it!”

Karl Eklöf, one of the investors in the seed round, says: “We are excited about Newstag’s ground-breaking and innovative business model which we believe can have a huge impact on the troubled media industry. The phenomenal growth in the distribution of online video and in social media as a way of distributing news, combined with the brand’s need to stay relevant, makes this a dream combination – especially when you consider that the users, brands and NGOs all work together to create sustainability.”

In addition to the $1.3 million, Newstag has also been awarded a Swedish innovation grant for $150,000, providing the company with a further boost.

Newstag is an international venture which comes from a highly experienced team based in Sweden that has been at the cutting-edge of the media and digital industries. Newstag’s logo – the twelve sided figure or dodecahedron – reflects the multi-faceted nature of news in the 21st century  and our relationship with it in today’s complex world.

CEO and Founder, Henrik Eklund, was AP’s Director of Digital Partnerships and Distribution in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia.   Before joining AP, Henrik was the founder and CEO of Kamera – one of the world’s leading mobile and online distributors. Prior to Kamera, Eklund founded PAN Interactive, one of Europe’s leading game publishers and distributors.

Chairman and Founder, Camilla Dahlin-Andersson has a long career in social services and the academics. She has been a member of parliament as well as serving on several boards for large institutions. She is currently finishing her doctorate in Innovation Management at Stockholm School of Economics and Mälardalens University.

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