Video news startup Watchup, is announcing that it has raised $1 million in additional funding.
Co-founder Adriano Farano, a former journalist himself, has said that his goal is to create a new version of the daily newscast. To do that, Watchup released an iPad app allowing users to assemble playlists of news segments from sources like the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and Univision — and with version 2.0, which launched last summer, it made the process largely automated, with playlists assembled based on users’ preferences and that start once you open the app.
Farano declined to offer any specifics about how the app is doing, but he told me via email that the company has “validated our assumptions” and is ready “now ready to expand to new platforms, some of which you’ll find surprising but which make total sense for our effortless, personalized video experience.” (It released an app for Google Glass last fall.)
The new round follows $500,000 in angel funding that Watchup raised in 2012. Farano said it’s not a Series A, per se, since the money doesn’t come from institutional backers.
Investors in the new funding include Microsoft Ventures, StartX (where Watchup was incubated), the Knight Foundation (Farano was a Knight fellow at Stanford University), Campus Televideo founder Ned Lamont, TV news producer Tom Yellin, and angel investor Gerry McIntyre.
“Watchup has taken on the challenge of news overload,” said Benoit Wirz, director of business consulting at the Knight Foundation, in the funding release. “The platform melds great design with choice and accessibility, all attributes which have contributed to its growth and success.”
You can download the Watchup iPad app here.