LAUSANNE, Switzerland, January 11, 2011 – SmallRivers SA, creator of Paper.li, the leading social news publication application, today announced that it has raised $2.1 million in financing from Highland Capital Partners, SoftBank Capital and Endeavour Vision. In conjunction with the financing, Dan Nova of Highland Capital Partners and Ronald Fisher of SoftBank Capital will join the Company’s board of directors.
“Paper.li has generated extraordinary traction since its launch, and we are thrilled to welcome these world-class venture capital firms as investors,” said Edouard Lambelet, President and CEO of SmallRivers. “Our new partners will be instrumental in helping us to enhance our team, build strong partnerships with major service and content providers, establish operations in the US and Asia, and accelerate growth on all continents.”
Paper.li aggregates, curates, categorizes and transforms social media news and activity streams from Twitter and Facebook into personalized online newspapers. Each newspaper provides a simple and homogeneous news discovery experience, based on focused relevance from a broad pool of content. Launched last summer, Paper.li currently has 2 million uniques, operates in four languages (English, Spanish, German and French) and publishes 140,000 user-created daily newspapers.
“Harnessing the convergence of the semantic and social web, Paper.li is at the forefront of the emerging ‘social curation’ market,” stated Dan Nova, General Partner at Highland. “Paper.li represents the next wave of publishing by matching context and content from diverse streams of social media information and packaging it in an easier to consume manner.”
Added Ronald Fisher, Managing Partner at SoftBank Capital: “Paper.li is revolutionizing the consumption of information through an innovative publishing model that leverages machine learning capabilities and semantic search. We’re excited to be part of the team as the application is rolled out globally.”
In addition, SmallRivers is planning to move part of its team from Switzerland to California. More details will be announced later this year.
Located on the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and co-founded in 2008 by Edouard Lambelet and Iskander Pols, SmallRivers raised investments from two seed funds, Venture Incubator (www.ventureincubator.ch) and Kima Ventures (www.kimaventures.com), along with business angels. The company looks to connect people around shared interests and enable everyone to be a publisher. Its flagship product, Paper.li, extracts, analyzes and organizes links shared on Twitter and Facebook into an easy to read newspaper-style format. Newspapers can be created for any Twitter user, list, hashtag, Facebook public posts or keyword search. For more information: www.paper.li.
About Highland Capital Partners
Highland Capital Partners was founded with the mission of helping great people build great companies. Since its inception in 1988, the firm has taken a sector-focused approach to investing in exceptional communications, consumer, digital media, healthcare and information technology companies. With over $3 billion of committed capital and offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, Geneva and Shanghai, Highland has invested in and worked to create such firms as Ask Jeeves, Avid Technology, CheckFree, Conor Medsystems, Coremetrics, lululemon athletica, Lycos, MapQuest, Navic Networks, New York Times Digital, P.A. Semi, Quattro Wireless, Quigo, Starent Networks, Sybase, Telica and VistaPrint. For more information, visit Highland's web site at www.hcp.com.
About SoftBank Capital
SoftBank Capital is an independent venture capital firm focused on early stage businesses addressing ubiquitous, social computing. The firm addresses opportunities that deliver socially-driven content, services and applications across platforms and devices. SoftBank Capital offers entrepreneurs valuable experience and resources, including its close association with SoftBank Corp. in Japan. The firm’s historical investments include Associated Content, Buddy Media, Danger, E*TRADE, GeoCities, GSI Commerce, Huffington Post, WebMD, and Yahoo!. SoftBank Capital has offices in Newton, MA, New York City and Buffalo, NY. For more information, visit www.softbank.com.
About Endeavour Vision
Endeavour Vision combines a team of experienced venture capital professionals responsible for investments in over 80 companies in 12 countries in technology and life sciences since 1989. The firm targets companies that have the potential to become global leaders. Beyond access to capital, Endeavour Vision brings years of experience, expertise and network to its entrepreneurs, plus a passion for success. For more information, visit www.endeavourvision.com.