Last September, a group of former L.A. Times veterans launched Ebyline as a better way for news organizations to manage their freelance talent and syndicate their own content. The goal was to give the Web’s shady content farms a run for their monies by creating an open marketplace for freelance journalists to pitch story ideas, take assignments from editors they work with, and get paid. Publishers, on the other hand, can use Ebyline to bring their content to other newspapers and publications. Variety, for example, uses the platform to syndicate its movie reviews to other websites. (You can read our initial coverage here.)
In November, Ebyline raised $1.5 million from E.W. Scripps, and today the newspaper publisher is demonstrating further confidence in the growing startup, announcing that it is leading a $5 million series B round investment to help the platform scale.
As a snapshot of the company’s growth as it stands today: In just one year, the startup has secured a total of $6.5 million from E.W. Scripps, powered over 75,000 projects, and partnered with publishing houses like the LA Times, Gatehouse Media, Internet Broadcasting, Grammy.com, and, of course, E.W. Scripps.
Beyond building a virtual newsroom platform that enables publishers to manage content syndication and find new freelance talent, Ebyline also automates freelancer administration including assignment and pitch flow, independent contractor agreements, payment processing, and tax management. What’s more, in May of this year, the platform added video and audio capabilities to support multimedia broadcast, and crossed the $1 million revenue mark in August. This revenue is largely derived from the small percentage the startup takes from syndication deals, etc.
Seeing that news organizations have reduced their staffs in response to the changing economic and content distribution landscape (cough, digital technology), the pool of talented reporters who work outside of the newsroom has grown exponentially, said Ebyline Co-founder Bill Momary. As the space moves forward, there’s little doubt that news organization (particularly web-based entities) will go virtual and lean increasingly on their outside staff for critical reporting.
For the growing number of news organizations that work with freelancers and want to find ways to streamline the time and cost of managing these able-bodied souls (sorry, I had to) or find and hire experienced journalists, Ebyline offers a great resource to do just that.
For more, take a virtual tour of Ebyline here.