Israeli-American startup Apester, a digital storytelling platform for publishers, closed a $5 million Series A financing led by Mangrove Capital Partners, with additional investments from former AOL CMO Tal Simantov, Wix Co-Founder Gigi Kaplan, Silverstein Properties President Tal Kerret, and Amdocs Founder Morris Kahn (Wellborn Ventures).
This brings the company’s total funding to $9.6 Million raised in 4 Rounds from 10 Investors.
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Apester says that it will use the infusion of new capital to grow the company across business development, marketing and operations.
Businesses everywhere are looking for ways to make their websites more attractive to potential customers. One such way is to make them more interactive. Another is to present web surfers with more interesting and entertaining content.
Publishers and blogs — including the one which you are currently reading — are no exception. People today do not just want to be told what the news is, but to feel that their opinions matter and that the news presented to them is what they are really interested in hearing.
Based in New York City and launched in 2014, Apester boasts that it is ushering in the next generation of digital storytelling by putting the reader at the center of editorial coverage. Apester is a fast growing digital platform with more than 200M impressions a month and 400+ leading publishers using its services, including AOL, Telegraph, The Huffington Post, The Next Web, Weather.com, Food Network and London Evening Standard.
The Apester platform enables publishers to embed interactive units — polls, surveys, personality tests and video quizzes — to complement any editorial story and use the resulting data to shape future coverage. Apester makes any piece of content more engaging and sharable, with an average click-through rate of more than 17% across the entire Apester network (more than 100 times better than standard banner ads), and the ability to boost social sharing by more than 100 percent. The interactive units can also be used by advertisers to create branded content opportunities that appear natively within editorial coverage and directly engage readers.
“As the evolution of digital storytelling continues, the voice of the reader has been the missing piece to providing consumers with a more complete story and increased influence over the content they consume, ” said Moti Cohen, Founder and CEO of Apester.
“Apester enables editorial teams to harness the voice of the reader to make every piece of content more engaging, relevant and shareable, while increasing traffic and creating a new kind of native ad unit for publishers.”
Apester declares that its platform offers seamless integration and a simple, easy-to-use interface for publishers. Its interactive units “provide the readers with a very sleek user experience that gets them more actively involved in the story.”
Mangrove is a leading venture capital firm known for its early investments in Skype, Wix and Rdio. As part of the investment, Mangrove Partner Roy Saar will join the board. He also sits on the board at Wix.