SAN FRANCISCO — SmartNews, developer of a news app, said it will close its Series E funding round in December, having raised $92 million from a group of investors led by Japan Post Capital Co. Ltd. and ACA Investments Pte Ltd. Additional investors include Globis Capital Partners Co., Ltd., Dentsu, Inc, and D.A.Consortium Inc. (Hakuhodo DY Group).
The round brings SmartNews’s total funding to $182 million to date on a $1.2 billion valuation.
Already the fastest-growing news app in the U.S. with 500% year-over-year growth, SmartNews has undertaken new initiatives in recent months to bolster its leadership in the mobile news space. In September 2019, the company released its “News From All Sides” political slider, which harnesses SmartNews’s state-of-the-art AI to empower readers to see media coverage from different political perspectives. In October 2019, SmartNews announced SmartView First, a licensing option that benefits both the media ecosystem and readers themselves. This partnership program already includes more than 30 major content providers including BBC, Business Insider, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed, and Reuters.
The latest funding round will be used to expand global engineering teams for mobile, backend and machine learning development, fueling the company’s growth in the U.S. and worldwide.
“The close of our newest funding round represents an important milestone for SmartNews,” said Ken Suzuki, Co-Founder and CEO of SmartNews. “Our investment partners have recognized the value that we provide to our readers and the media ecosystem we help support. Together, we will continue to provide quality information to those who need it, both in the US and worldwide.”