Personalized content startup My6sense announced today that it has raised $2 million in new funding. It’s also using the announcement to talk about its new focus — the company’s Content Discovery Bar for publishers.
In the past, my6sense used its technology to build content recommendation apps for consumers. Co-founder and CEO Avinoam Rubinstain told me that there was some promising early adoption, but “we actually faced a significant issue of generating revenue on a consumer application.” So the team decided to build a tool for publishers instead.
You can see how the Content Discovery Bar works in the video below. The basic idea: When someone is browsing a news or content app or mobile website, a small “more” tab will appear when they’re ready to see more content. If they tap on the tab, a bar will open recommending content that they might find interesting.
To make those recommendationMy6sense is taking advantage of the technology and AI expertise that it developed previously. And while there are other content recommendation services for publishers (such as Outbrain), Rubinstain noted that none of them are built specifically for mobile. The mobile use case is particularly challenging, he said, because you don’t have the screen space to waste on stories that the reader doesn’t care about.
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Publishers can also include sponsored content in the bar, and then share the revenue with my6sense. So even though the company is no longer purely consumer-focused, its business model is still based on advertising.
My6sense is only officially launching the Content Discovery Bar today, but it says the bar has already been used by publishers to recommend nearly 5 billion articles, and that half the users who see the initial prompt choose to open the bar.
The funding comes from an undisclosed investor — my6sense says it was one of the company’s original angels. The startup has now raised a total of $7.5 million.
Update: I asked the company about what specific activity it’s tracking to make its recommendations and it said, “my6sense’s patent pending engine works by learning readers’ tastes and behaviors, leveraging users navigation graph within the specific hosting publisher site or application while leverage user activity within other applications & mobile sites.”