News Corp announced today that it bought Storyful, a startup that finds news on social media, for $US25 million.
Here’s the release:
Accelerating News Corp’s digital transformation and video strategy, the company has acquired Storyful, the world’s first social news agency.
Building on Storyful’s skill in finding verified news amidst the noise of social media, News Corp will use its own global scale, robust digital presence and advertising expertise to enhance and expand Storyful’s video products and services for newsrooms, advertising agencies and brands. News Corp will also utilise Storyful’s tools to help drive engagement and revenue across News Corp’s businesses.
Storyful, acquired for €18 million (approximately $US25 million USD), will operate as a stand-alone business unit within News Corp and continue to work with its existing roster of global customers, which includes The Wall Street Journal.
“Storyful has become the village square for valuable video, using journalistic sensibility, integrity and creativity to find, authenticate and commercialise user-generated content,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “Through this acquisition, we can extend the village square across borders, languages and platforms.”
The acquisition complements News Corp’s existing video capabilities, which include the creation and distribution of original and on-demand programming, such as WSJ Live and the recently launched BallBall in Asia.
The Dublin, Ireland-based start-up discovers, verifies, acquires and distributes timely and relevant video and user-generated content to its partners. With its combination of proprietary technology and journalistic expertise, Storyful also provides social media dashboards, real-time discovery tools, feeds and analytics to its customers, allowing them to integrate video into their news or advertising efforts via online and mobile platforms and to monitor social conversations and sentiment. So far in 2013, verified user-generated videos managed by Storyful generated 750 million views for its partners.
Added Mr. Thomson, “Video is a vocation for the new News, which will combine with Storyful to reach a growing global audience, enhancing our own editorial products and creating new content communities.”
Storyful’s management team of Chief Executive Officer Mark Little and Executive Editor David Clinch will continue to oversee the company’s operations. Rahul Chopra, Senior Vice President of Video for News Corp, will join the Storyful management team, taking on the additional role of Chief Revenue Officer. Mr. Little will report to David Brinker, News Corp Senior Vice President and Global Head of Business & Corporate Development.
“By joining forces with News Corp, Storyful can quickly transform its vision into a global reality,” said Mr. Little. “We believe that journalism in the age of social media needs to be open, innovative and collaborative, and so does the business model that will sustain it. News Corp is a natural fit for a company which wants to help reinvent the news industry.”
Storyful remains headquartered in Dublin, where the company was founded in 2008. Additional business development and advertising sales staff will be hired and based in New York.
Investors include Ray Nolan, one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs; SOS Ventures; the Irish State Enterprise Board; ACT Ventures; as well as Mr. Little.