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Blendle, the Dutch startup on a quest to save paper journalism from becoming extinct, has raised an additional €4M in a new funding round. The digital kiosk, formerly dubbed the ‘iTunes for journalism’, brought together a rather unusual pair of investors. One could even say that Blendle won the lottery…
The first investor officially listed in the humblebrag Medium piece that serves as a press update is Bookspot. The online bookstore, formerly known as ECI, a bankrupted and quite notorious bookclub is owned by Novamedia. Boudewijn Poelmann, the CEO, and owner of Novamedia, once founded the Nationale Postcode Lottery, the Dutch lottery behemoth, and the world’s third-biggest philanthropical institute.
The other new investor on board in the all-you-can-read journalism startup is Morten Strunge. The Danish entrepreneur sold his startup Mofibo, an all-you-can-read, flat-rate book service, to competitor Storytel for €13,5M in May 2016. According to Crunchbase, Strunge has previously invested personally in Goodiebox, SON OF A TAILOR, and Rubberduck.
According to Alexander Klopping, Blendle’s CEO after the departure of co-founder Marten Blankesteijn, Strunge reached out to him via email. “Invest in Blendle?” was the subject line, with Strunge adding: “I have followed Blendle on the side for some time, and wanted to invite myself for a cup of coffee :). I see a big potential to renew the news industry, and think you are moving in the right direction.”
Poelmann and Strunge join the ranks of a quite eccentric mixture of investors, as Blendle raised its first round of €3M with media powerhouses Axel Springer (Germany) and the New York Times (US). After that, INKEF Capital (A Dutch VC backed by the biggest pension fund) and Nikkei, a Japanese media conglomerate, poured an unknown amount in the Utrecht-based startup.
The fresh funding will be poured into further expansion, although it’s not clear if that means in products or territories, and in Klopping’s pet project, Blendle Audio. Perhaps an all-you-can-read offering for… books?