Monday 20 May 2019

News Corp pumps another €12m into Dublin's Storyful

Former RTÉ journalist Mark Little. Photo: Tom Burke
Former RTÉ journalist Mark Little. Photo: Tom Burke
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has pumped €12m of fresh equity into Storyful.

The Dublin-based news agency, set up by entrepreneur and former RTE journalist Mark Little, was sitting on accumulated losses of more than €15m as of the end of June 2017.

The company aims to provide news organisations and other customers with insights and verified content from social media.

A spokesman for Storyful said the company's aim was to "accelerate growth globally and strengthen social media intelligence services for media, brand marketers, and communications".

"The business will continue to improve its service for newsrooms and media partners while scaling intelligence products and reporting services for communications and brand marketing," the spokesman added.

The deal comes after a number of similar injections by News Corp. In November 2017 it put in €7.2m, and in September 2016 it put in €4.5m.

The company was sold by Mr Little to News Corp for €18m in 2013.

He remained with the company for some time after the sale before joining Twitter in 2015.

Storyful was recently embroiled in controversy after a report that it had software that monitored the videos being watched by clients who used a particular tool.

Storyful rejected the idea that this amounted to spying, saying it had made clear disclosures about how the tool worked and that it did not receive data identifying which individual was watching which video.

It said the tool was designed to help it improve user experience.

Mr Little is now working at another startup entitled Neva Labs alongside former Irish Independent journalist and Facebook manager for journalism partnerships Aine Kerr. The duo previously worked together at Storyful.

Neva Labs is working to "empower individuals who want to take personal control of their news experience". It aims to allow users to tailor how they consume news online.

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