SmartNews Inc., a Japanese global leader in redefining information and news discovery, raised $230m in Series F funding.
The round, which brings the total capital raised to date to more than $400m at a valuation of $2 billion, included new investors Princeville Capital and Woodline Partners, based in the U.S., as well as JIC Venture Growth Investments, Green Co-Invest Investment, and Yamauchi-No.10 Family Office in Japan, as well as existing investors ACA Investments and SMBC Venture Capital.
The company intends to use the funds to:
- to launch features that specifically appeal to users and publishers in the United States, and
- to double its headcount in the U.S., adding engineers and leaders, particularly in Silicon Valley, New York and San Francisco.
Founded in 2012 and led by Ken Suzuki, CEO, SmartNews, SmartNews is a global information and news discovery company, dedicated to delivering quality information to the people who need it. SmartNews provides news that matters to millions of users thanks to machine learning technology and relationships with over 3,000 global publisher partners.
The round represents another significant milestone for SmartNews, which has been the number one news app in Japan for multiple years running. In the U.S. market, the company achieved the highest monthly user time spent among all news apps and saw its monthly active users (MAU) double in 2020. Since its last funding round in 2019, SmartNews has more than doubled its headcount to approximately 500 globally.