As any jobbing art director or account manager can tell you, more and more online advertising agencies are embracing high quality content marketing. And if you’re an art director seeking to create that killer content for your clients, you might do well to take a look at NewsCred, the New York startup whose sophisticated content marketing platform brings world-class content into live play with cutting edge software.
Founded in 2007 by Shafqat Islam (now its CEO), Iraj Islam and Asif Rahman, it’s just raised its biggest investment to date in a $25 million Series C round led by InterWest Partners. Existing investors FirstMark Capital, Mayfield Fund and IA Ventures also participated.
Having raised $15 million last year in Series B, the company’s investment total now stands at $45 million. Most canny account managers would agree that this firm has got what it takes to sustain venture capitalist’s confidence.
It’s also garnered a glittering list of big name clients such as Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, Time, Inc., Blue Cross Shield, Sprint, AIG, The Hearst Corporation, Xerox and Visa. With a list like that, most account managers would need to pinch themselves to check if they were dreaming.
A genuine end-to-end package
So what’s unique about NewsCred? It offers “the full content marketing stack”, and Shafqat Islam asks a pertinent question: “You know, a lot of people use the word ‘end-to-end’ without actually thinking about, What does that mean?” NewsCred, he says, offers “the full content marketing stack”, including a content licensing business which provides clients with access to content owned by Getty Images, The New York Times and Reuters.
But following its “NewsRoom” initiative last year, it now also has a network of well-paid, top quality freelance writers who can earn up to $500 for a blog post and $1000 for an original researched article. These freelancers are highly adept at producing content perfectly tailored to a brand’s needs (another New York startup, Contently, offers a similar resource). But when NewsCred says it offers an “end-to-end platform”, it’s not kidding. It provides everything from planning to approvals to analytics.
The new funding will go chiefly into expanding the startup’s salesforce, which it plans to double, to boost its positioning in a highly competitive market.