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NewCo raises new funding led by True Ventures

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NewCo, a San Francisco-based company that produces city-like festivals that acquaint attendees with local businesses, has raised roughly $4.3 million in fresh funding, shows a new SEC filing that states the outfit has raised just north of $6 million to date.

Cofounder and CEO John Battelle tells us larger number includes an earlier convertible note that’s been turned into equity. (The company received that note of $1. 7 million early last year, which we’d reported on here.)

The new funding was led by earlier investor True Ventures, and included participation from other previous backers Obvious Ventures, Transmedia Capital, Bloomberg Beta, other early angel investors, and Battelle himself.

NewCo organizes its events around target cities, with participating companies planning events for attendees in their offices. Last year, the 17-person startup orchestrated 11 events. This year, says Battelle, NewCo has plans for 15 cities, including in hubs where it hasn’t hosted events in the past, including London, Detroit, Toronto, and Mexico City.

“We may add more,” Battelle wrote us in an email yesterday. “We have about 15 cities who we are talking to and we’re looking at possibly adding several more this year, but we can only expand so quickly!”

NewCo makes money through sponsorships, tours and ticketing, and from media products, including a daily newsletter. Battelle says the company has plans for both more media products and a new kind of event. (News about these upcoming, he says.)

Battelle has long been part of the startup ecosystem, helping launch Wired magazine, then the The Industry Standard, a highly popular magazine during the dot-boom era that later folded.

Battelle also cofounded the online advertising network Federated Media Publishing, which sold its content marketing arm to publicly-traded LIN Media in 2014. (The programmatic ad side of the organization continues to operate as an independent company called sovrn.)

Asked yesterday about the business cycle and what he’s doing about what looks like stormy weather ahead, Battelle wrote us: “I am concerned, far more than perhaps back in 2013-14, for example.”

But NewCo, which is not yet profitable, is “focusing on being lean and focusing on proving our model can get to self sustaining as quickly as possible, without sacrificing investment,” he said, adding: “It’s the standard startup story, of course.”