The online media startup, The News Lens, has raised somewhat between $2 Million to $3 Million in Series B round led by Wiskey Capital and includes returning investor North Base Media. The latter is a fund created by former Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brachuli and Media Development Loan Fund founder Sasa Vucinic to support independent media startups.
The startup aims to utilize the funds to create more original video content and be the voice of reason in Asia’s raucous media landscape. Founded in 2013, The New Lens proved to be an antidote to Asia’s scandal-laden media industry and has since grown to include separate editions for Hong Kong and international readers.
Many other investors took part in the round including Walden International, Trinity Investment, Angelvest, Dorcas Investments, Vic Chen, Ogilvy PR Taiwan managing director Wei Shang, Irene Chen, board director of the Foundation for Excellent Journalism, Camp Mobile Taiwan general manager Edgar Chiu and Alice Sun, co-founder and COO of Knock Know.
The company raised Series A in May 2015 and garnered about 4 million monthly hits on the website. The metric has now surpassed the previous high of 5 million unique hits and currently receives 6 million monthly page views. The startup aims to increase this metric by 1 million more unique page views by the end of 2017.
With offices based in Hong Kong and Taiwan and about 70 employees, the startup aims to hit the markets with live streams and video content with The News Lens’ new global news anchor, Jennifer Shen, one of Taiwan’s most prolific and recognizable TV journalists.
“It’s the first time in Taiwan history where someone of her caliber from traditional TV has come over to join new media, so it’s like a milestone, where a new media startup in Taiwan has finally grown up and we finally meet in the middle,” says Chung to TechCrunch. “It really symbolizes that it’s a major player and can attract high-caliber talent—the number one anchor from the number one TV channel—to our company.”
“There’s no reason why a piece on bespoke custom suit can’t be taken across platforms in Greater China and in English editions. We want to experiment with this for the Chinese market,” adds Joey Chung. “Lifestyle might be the one that’s not blocked in China.”