News Readers Startups: Funding, Acquisitions, Shutdowns


CB Insights:

Promising to package and deliver news in fundamentally different ways than traditional print media, news reader apps quickly captured the imagination and dollars of venture capital investors — to the tune of more than $300M.

Now, many of those venture-backed news readers have either been acquired, shuttered, or both. With that in mind, we decided to visualize the rise and fall of venture-backed news reader apps.

Specifically, we looked at the wave of venture financing deals into the news reader space since January 2010 – and the subsequent rash of acquisitions or shutdowns that began in 2013.

[2015] alone saw a flurry of news reader app acquisitions or closures including Circa, Reverb, Zite, and Prismatic. Flipboard, the most well-capitalized of the bunch with a valuation of $800M in its 2013 fundraise, disclosed a new $50M round from JPMorgan in July. Flipboard has been the subject of acquisition rumors which have stalled and has also seen executive departures (as reported by Adam Satariano of Bloomberg).

On the flipside, Nuzzel which has been suggested by Lowercase Capital’s Chris Sacca as a good acquisition target for Twitter has seen recent momentum.  It was highlighted by CB Insights last spring after analysis of Twitter highlighted the apps momentum.

Also of note in the space is Feedly which is self-funded and which is reported to have 12 million+ users (as of May 2013).