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Indonesia

Indonesian Newsstand App Scoop Closes $2.4M Series B

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Apps Foundry just announced that it has raised $2.42 million (S$3 million) in a Series B round of funding. The Indonesian company is registered and headquartered in Singapore, and this round of funding has come from Indonesia’s largest media group, Kompas Gramedia.

The company’s main product is a digital newsstand app called Scoop. This round of funding will go towards Apps Foundry’s expansion plans to the rest of the neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, said CEO, Willson Cuaca.

Kompas Gramedia owns a number of different publishing platforms covering print media, radio, TV and online sites in Indonesia. To be precise, its PR states that it has 26 newspapers, 80 magazines, seven book publishers, 23 radio stations, 103 bookstores, and nine TV stations. And 50 hotels. Phew.

One of its newspapers, Kompas Daily, has one of the largest circulations in the country, and prior to this funding round, Scoop had an exclusive arrangement with the newspaper. Kompas’ digital group director, Edi Taslim, said the app was attractive to the publisher because it’s already managed to get 90 percent of the country’s magazine publishers and 50 daily papers onboard. He added that 10,000 e-books from Kompas Gramedia’s seven publishers can be found on Scoop, and that the investment in the app maker was a strategic decision for the media giant in order for it to “stay on top of current trends” while minimizing the risk of undertaking the building of a similar app itself.

Newsstand apps are attractive to publishers because they allow them to get content to readers without having to strike individual content deals with device makers themselves.

Last year, a France-based digital newsstand app called Lekiosk raised $7.1 million in a Series B round. The app is touted as “Spotify for magazines”, and last month the company announced a deal with Asus to have the Lekiosk preloaded on its Android gadgets.

Cuaca told TechCrunch that this funding round for Apps Foundry will bring the company’s total funding to $3.4 million (S$4.3 million) since its launch in 2010. Its angel and seed round at the beginning came up to $257,939 (S$320,000), and was led by Indonesian accelerator, East Ventures.

Its Series A was closed in December 2011, where it attracted $810,000 (S$1 million) primarily for Scoop from Shanghai-based VC Gobi Partners, and Japanese investment firm Mitsui Global Investment.