Blumberg Capital leads funding of Apester

New York-based Apester, which provides a storytelling platform for publishers, announced it has closed on $12 million, the second tranche of its Series A round of funding. The funding was led by Blumberg Capital and includes Mangrove Capital, former AOL CMO Tal Simantov, Wix co-founder Gigi Kaplan, Silverstein Properties President Tal Kerret and Wellborn Ventures. The company, founded in 2014, has now raised $17 million to date, following a first tranche to the Series A of $5 million nine months ago.

PRESS RELEASE

Apester Closes $17M Series A with $12M Second Tranche Led By Blumberg Capital, Announcing Record Growth and Further Expansion

Leader in Audience Engagement Technology More Than Doubles its Client Base, Grossing Upwards of a Billion Engagements per Year

(New York, NY) Tuesday, April 19, 2016 – Apester, a digital storytelling platform for publishers and brands, announced today that it closed the second tranche of its Series A financing, raising a total of $17 million to date. The second tranche of $12 million follows the first tranche of $5 million announced only 9 months ago and is led by Blumberg Capital and includes Mangrove Capital, former AOL CMO Tal Simantov, Wix Co-Founder Gigi Kaplan, Silverstein Properties President Tal Kerret, and Wellborn Ventures.

The strategic investment comes on the heels of Apester’s rapid growth and the unprecedented market demand for its audience engagement technology, only 16 months after it was first launched. Apester’s audience engagement platform is already used by thousands of publishers, including industry leaders such as Time Inc., AOL, The Daily Telegraph, The Huffington Post, FOX, USA Today, BBC, Sky, Bild and many more.

“Without a doubt, the world of digital content has undergone a significant transformation over recent years,” said Moti Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of Apester. “Apester enables content makers to convert one-dimensional articles into ever-evolving conversations, quenching the thirst of audience demand for entertaining and engaging interactions. The best way to meet this changing demand, we believe, is by embracing premium quality; quality of content, quality of context, and quality of experience. By delivering these interactions at scale, Apester empowers publishers to deliver a more powerful story completed through the added voice of the reader.”

Publishers working with the engagement platform release hundreds of unique interactive content and video units per day, reaching a global audience of hundreds of millions and recording more than a billion engagements to date across mobile devices and desktops. Engagement rates reported by leading publishers which leverage the company’s technology include more than 90% completion rates, 20% interactions with targeted content, 25% increase in time spent on articles, and 15% increase in content sharing as well as significant improvements in loyalty, churn, and deeper engagement metrics that allow for overall growth and fresh monetization opportunities for both publishers and brands.

Teddy Mitrosilis, Deputy Director of Social News from FOX praised the company’s capabilities saying, “Apester’s editorial products have been a great addition to our content. We’ve seen tremendous engagement from our audience when combining an Apester interactive unit with popular posts, a testament to the sharp design and seamlessness of the product’s display and function on mobile. Apester has quickly become a go-to interactive product for us and has raised our standards for audience engagement”.

“Apester is a unique company,” said Alon Lifshitz, Managing Director at Blumberg Capital. “Whether it is hard news or lifestyle stories, audiences today look to be a part of a conversation and Apester empowers publishers to deliver just that, better than any other company we’ve seen out there. The industry is ripe for innovation, and there are many companies on the market – yet none have the potential of Apester. The sky is the limit, and with publishers already receiving clear value added we are excited to be a part of its continued development of new products and new market opportunities.”

“In less than 16 months Apester has already become synonymous with audience engagement,” said Roy Saar, Partner from Mangrove Capital Partners. “Their unique ‘publisher first’ approach has fueled the company’s global adoption and made them a must-have solution in the editor’s toolbox. Once a company behind the curtain, Apester has emerged in the last year as the most powerful platform for digital publishers to not only succeed in our ever-changing online world, but to impact their audiences in an entirely new and lucrative way.”

The company supports publishers in more than 40 countries and now has offices in London, Berlin, Istanbul and Tokyo in addition to its R&D offices in Tel Aviv. Apester’s team grew from 8 individuals to upwards of 50 team members between January 2015 and April 2016. With the addition of newly raised funds, Apester anticipates continued growth, doubling its employee base over the course of the year.