Amsterdam-based investment fund INKEF Capital, and Japanese media group Nikkei, owner of global business news publisher Financial Times, are investing in the Netherlands-based startup Blendle.
“The partnership between Nikkei and the Financial Times is one of the most exciting publishing initiatives worldwide”, says Blendle founder Alexander Klöpping. “The New York Times and Axel Springer are shareholders in Blendle already, and it makes me very proud that a third innovative publisher, as well as tech investor INKEF Capital, now put their weight behind our company.”
It is not disclosed how much the companies have invested.
Blendle started out in 2014 as a service that allowed its users to pay per article from newspapers or magazines. Earlier this year, the company added a premium service on top of that, allowing readers access to a personalized article selection from Dutch newspapers and magazines for €9,99 a month.
INKEF Capital was founded in 2010 and has assets under management worth €500 million. It has previously invested in promising companies such as flower delivery service Bloomon, cybersecurity software company EclectiqIQ, and 3D printing start-up Shapeways. “In the past years, Blendle has shown how an innovative mindset and few resources can turn the media world upside down. Blendle taps into a need perfectly. What Spotify is for music, and Netflix is for film, Blendle is for journalism,” says Robert Jan Galema, managing director of INKEF.
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading companies when it comes to business news and information. Jon Slade, chief commercial officer at the Financial Times, said: “This investment represents a vote of confidence in the value of quality journalism, and our view that good journalism can also be good business. The tumultuous political events of the past year have only supported the evidence that trustworthy information has real value, and we are happy to support Blendle, who share that belief.”
Blendle wants to make the best journalism accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. On Blendle, users without a subscription have access to the very best papers and magazines. The Dutch start-up was founded two and a half years ago and now has over 1,000,000 users, the majority of them aged under 35. Blendle currently has more than 80 employees, including 15 journalists. Media companies The New York Times Company and Axel Springer are already among its investors. Users have access to a personalized news offering from premium publishers, and can either pay per article or through a unique subscription.
Nikkei Inc. is one of the largest independent business media groups in Asia. Established in 1876 and upholding its corporate creed of being “fair and impartial”, Nikkei provides high-quality journalism both on print and paid-for online editions, Nikkei Online Edition and Nikkei Asian Review, with sophisticated features including AI-generated content. Nikkei acquired the Financial Times Group in 2015.
About INKEF Capital
INKEF Capital is an Amsterdam-based venture capital firm that focuses on long-term collaboration and active support of innovative technology companies. INKEF Capital was founded in 2010 by Dutch pension fund ABP and with €500 million under management it is one of the largest venture capital funds in the Netherlands. INKEF focuses on investment opportunities in Healthcare, Technology and IT/NewMedia and prefers to participate from series A round financing onwards. www.inkefcapital.com