Apester: 5 reasons we invested...
A few months ago we led the Series-A financing of Apester, a company determined to include the voice of the audience in the storytelling process as a means of creating a new content category for digital publishers. This innovation, akin to the first imbedded pictures in newspapers in the late 19th century, will change the way publishers engage with readers forever.
Apester is the brainchild of CEO and founder Moti Cohen. When we first met Moti, we were taken by his absolute commitment to radically changing the industry. He was adamant that the current format had run its course and painted a picture where storytelling should include not only the writer, but also in some way the reader. As we got to know Moti, his excitement was infectious and his early successes demonstrated that he was on to something big. As of today more than 700 publishers are using Apester, including The Huffington Post, USA Today, The Telegraph, AOL, and Time.inc, all of which are seeing material improvements in Click Through Rates “CTRs”, and Time on Page.
More specifically, here is what got us excited:
A clear market opportunity. We are at the dawn of a new era, one where readers become part of the story, and one where new ways of advertising will flourish. Apester is fresh and ambitious and its commercial applications are mouth watering: to us, these are the simple ingredients of greatness.
A real pain point: publishers have lost control. Apester provides publishers with a new way of engaging their readers. The Apester suite of products includes polls, quizzes, lists, personality tests and video and is designed to help publishers deliver more engaging experiences, which ultimately can be monetized more efficiently.
A new format. When we first met Moti, he was adamant that the current format had run its course. We were intrigued, what did this mean? His answer was simple and became our lightbulb moment: interactive advertising is to on-line content what pictures where to newspapers when they first appeared in the 19th century. It is all about providing the reader richer context.
Tangible results. There is nothing like early tangible results. With over 700 publishers using the Apester platform, the company is delivering significant results. To name but a few: CTRs in excess of 15%, Increased Time on Page of 25% and more than a 50% increase in social shares.
A passionate founder. Moti exudes the passion and vision we love to find in founders. His vision is infectious and we find ourselves dreaming of the new era, one where we finally catch up with John Steinbeck, a titan of storytelling, “If the story is not about the hearer, he will not listen”. Wise words indeed from someone who knows much about telling stories.
My partner Roy will sit on the company's board and bring Mangrove's "out of the box" thinking to the table. He will also be the company's greatest cheerleader. We look forward to an explosive ride…
Example of Apester’s platform at work at The Telegraph in the UK
* This post was first published on LinkedIn