NY Times, Axel Springer invest 3 million euros in Blendle

Dutch start-up Blendle, which has lined up nearly all the country’s newspapers behind a single, flexible paywall, has attracted a 3-million-euro collective investment from the New York Times of the USA and Germany’s Axel Springer.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | October 28, 2014

The company said it would use the money to expand to other countries in Europe in the next two years. Co-founder Alexander Klöpping declined to say which countries are in Blendle’s sights.

It is unclear, also, how much of the investment total came from the Times and how much from Axel Springer’s Digital Ventures arm.

Blendle, which offers users access to individual articles, launched to the public in April this year and to date has signed up 130,000 subscribers.

“‘We are truly honored that two of the world’s most influential publishers show so much trust in us,'” said Klöpping, according to the company’s press statement.

“‘Axel Springer has successfully transformed its business into a digital publishing house with a great portfolio of online offerings and start-ups that we believe we can learn a lot from. The New York Times’ online strategy serves as a worldwide example for other newspapers and magazines,”‘ said Klöpping.

The statement continued, “Mathias Döpfner, Chief Executive Officer of Axel Springer SE, said, ‘As a publisher we want to convince users to pay for great journalism, also in the digital age. I’m therefore delighted that a European startup is building a platform for paid access to quality journalism that is easy to use. Blendle has the potential to attract young, internet savvy readers.'”

The statement said, “After the investment the two founders will continue to fully control the company, representing more than 75 percent of Blendle’s share capital. The new investors will not have any insight in the Blendle sales numbers of other associated publishers, and their affiliated newspapers and publications will not receive any preferential treatment and will contract with Blendle on an arm’s length basis.”

During the recent World Publishing Expo in Amsterdam, participants in a start-up tour became acquainted with Blendle’s other co-founder, Marten Blankesteijn.

For more information about Blendle, see William Pimlott’s earlier blog post.

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