Fresco News, a startup run by 21-year-old John Meyer, just scored a nice contract with Fox News.
Fox news stations in a bunch of major metropolitan areas will be using his Fresco News app to gather photos and videos from everyday people who happen to be near a news event as it unfolds.
Fresco is an app that turns anyone into a journalist. If you’re on scene when a newsworthy event happens, and you use the Fresco iPhone or Android app to take photos or videos, Fresco validates them, submits them to news outlets and then pays you for your contribution, along the lines of $20 for photos and $50 for videos
And the app works both ways. Active Fresco users who happen to be near a news event can be alerted and asked if they can swing by and take photos of the scene. Stations can also grab the photos and videos from those submitted by Fresno users worldwide.
Fox had been testing the app with its Philadelphia station and liked it so much, it signed up to use it for New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Tampa, Charlotte and Orlando, Meyer tells us.
“The launch in Philly has been incredible – we’ve seen troves of our citizen journalist users become a part of the news,” Meyer told Business Insider.
As proof, he sent us this screenshot of active Fresco users roaming around the Philly who can become the station’s eyes and ears if they want to be.
A teen programmer success story
The early success of Fresco News is just another step in young Meyer’s fantastic career. At 19 years old he had been been making so much money as a teen developer writing iPhone apps that Apple took notice and invited him to be an intern, a dream come true for many other aspiring teen app developers.
He turned Apple down and instead, landed one of 20 coveted spots in the prestigious and competitive Thiel Fellowship, which helps exceptional young people drop out of school and start tech companies.
Now it looks like Fresco News is on a roll. The company employs 30 people, Meyer says and raised $2.1 million in seed money from VC firms and angels like former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn. We hear that Fresco is doing well pursuing a $10 million series A, as well.