Wikio Group has raised 4 million euros (~$5.3M) to build a content farm a la Demand Media, the company announced yesterday.
Wikio is a very interesting European company. It may look like a Digg clone, but it was founded by Pierre Chappaz, the founder of price comparison engine Kelkoo, a dotcom bust survivor which was acquired by Yahoo for $579 million. And unlike its US counterpart which has lost much of its luster, Wikio is thriving as a news portal and blog search engine.
Wikio recently merged with Overblog, one of the biggest blog publishing platforms in Europe, and acquired eBuzzing, a blog-focused ad network. So Wikio is on an aggressive and interesting warpath to building a European social media powerhouse.
Its odds to build a European version of Demand Media‘s content farms are good for a very simple and obvious reason — the language barrier. It’s going to be a slog for Demand Media or even Yahoo’s Associated Content to build localised versions of their content farms, complete with editors and checking, whereas Wikio can get started in several languages right away. And there’s no reason why pages designed to tap long tail searches in European languages can’t be as successful as they’ve been in the US.