If you use Twitter as much as we do, you’ve almost certainly run into Paper.li. The super viral service creates a web “newspaper” out of the twitter feeds you follow, nicely laid out and categorized (news, video, etc.).The service has been growing very fast: it now has 2 million users since its launch last summer, and Paper.li was one of three startups that won the award at LeWeb, the biggest international tech conference, last December.
Today, Paper.li are announcing that after an earlier seed round that included hyperactive superangel fund Kima Ventures, they’ve raised $2.1 million in venture financing from Highland Capital, Softbank Capital and Endeavour Vision.
The company will use the money to keep paying the bills and expanding until it finds a business model.
We thought this was a good time to catch up with their Founder/CEO Edouard Lambelet for an exclusive interview.
Here’s the text version:
SAI: so how fast have you guys been growing exactly?
SAI: (members, pageviews, etc)
Edouard Lambelet: 2M uniques
Edouard Lambelet: 150K papers created
Edouard Lambelet: and updated
Edouard Lambelet: 200 countries
Edouard Lambelet: operating in 4 languages
Edouard Lambelet: which is tuff as far as semantic is concerned
SAI: since starting when?
Edouard Lambelet: this summer
Edouard Lambelet: still in alpha
Edouard Lambelet: purly viral
SAI: so 2M uniques in like 6 months
SAI: speaking of viral
SAI: you must be tired of this question
SAI: but what about the spam issue?
SAI: when people create a paper.li it automatically tweets out to the people in it
SAI: this is why you’re growing so fast
SAI: but many people think it’s spam
Edouard Lambelet: this is not spam. These tweets are generated by users. But you are right, we are concerned and are finetuning
Edouard Lambelet: the can’t request for beeing not mentioned anymore
Edouard Lambelet: by tweeting at newscrier
SAI: so what’s next for you guys?
Edouard Lambelet: and, really, only a tiny-tiny part of users have things to say against
SAI: you have facebook newspapers now too, right?
Edouard Lambelet: New geographies (languages)
Edouard Lambelet: right
Edouard Lambelet: but only beginning
Edouard Lambelet: and also :
Edouard Lambelet: more customisation capabilities offered to users
SAI: like what?
SAI: for example
SAI: you guys have also experimented business model wise, right?
Edouard Lambelet: yes
SAI: is it just advertising?
Edouard Lambelet: still in experimentation
Edouard Lambelet: currently yes
Edouard Lambelet: and
Edouard Lambelet: we receive many partnership propositions from networks (local, global)
Edouard Lambelet: and
Edouard Lambelet: we are analysing some freemium offering
Edouard Lambelet: monthly (small) fix fee to have more tools to play with
Edouard Lambelet: our baseline : Everyone is a publisher
SAI: that’s certainly true
Edouard Lambelet: thx
SAI: thanks for taking the time
Edouard Lambelet: My pleasure