SmartNews Attracts $10 Million to Expand U.S. Operations and Meet International Demand in 150+ Countries

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Top-ranking News app in Japan and the U.S. accelerates its international growth, raising a $10M bridge round to further expand its machine learning technology and open a new San Francisco office.

SmartNews growth is accelerating in US and 150+ countries

This is the breakthrough needed to scale news delivery to billions of mobile devices.

SmartNews (, the award-winning news-discovery app, has raised a $10M bridge round led by GREE, together with Globis Capital Partners, Atomico, Mixi and Social Venture Partners, bringing total investment to $50 million.

With its explosive growth in Japan and the U.S., SmartNews has already climbed App Store and Google Play charts to become a consistently top-ranked app in the News category. In February, SmartNews launched an International edition for 150+ countries and reached over 10 million downloads. Behind the company’s international success is its proprietary machine learning technology, which gives it user-engagement rates higher than those of many top mobile games. SmartNews’s news discovery algorithms evaluate more than 10 million articles a day to surface the most interesting and important stories tailored to each country’s unique culture, trends and reading habits.

SmartNews will use this bridge round to invest further in machine learning technology, including deep learning and cutting-edge data research. The company plans to open a new office in San Francisco to base its world-class team of machine learning engineers and researchers.

“The news is international, but not all news apps truly are. SmartNews algorithms pick what’s trending and culturally relevant in different countries and regions,” said Niklas Zennström, Atomico’s founder and the co-founder of Skype. “This is the breakthrough needed to scale news delivery to billions of mobile devices.”

“Machine learning has proven to be the key to scaling news discovery to the world. With the best data science and engineering talent, San Francisco is the foremost location for our future office and ever-growing machine learning team,” said Dr. Ken Suzuki, SmartNews co-founder and co-CEO.

Rich Jaroslovsky, SmartNews’s vice president of content, said MSNBC, TIME, Buzzfeed, HuffingtonPost, VICE, Medium, Quartz, AOL, Upworthy, People, Vox, MTV News, The Verge, AP, Reuters, USA Today and Fox News are among the more than 75 content channels recently added in the U.S. alone. “Publishers are finding that our news-discovery algorithms are delivering their content to new audiences,” he said.

Growth Milestones:

  • August 8, 2014: $36 million Series B
  • October 2014: Launched U.S. edition
  • December 2014: Launched native ad network in Japan, 4 million monthly active users in Japan
  • January 2015: 1 million monthly active users in US
  • February 2015: Launched International edition, reached 10 million downloads worldwide

Learn more and download the app at:

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About SmartNews

With offices in Tokyo, San Francisco and New York, SmartNews is dedicated to delivering quality information from the world to the people who need it. Founded in December 2012 by Kaisei Hamamoto and Dr. Ken Suzuki, SmartNews uses proprietary machine learning algorithms to evaluate tens of millions of articles, social signals and other cues each day to discover and deliver the stories that matter now.

SmartNews has won multiple “App of The Year” and “Best News App” awards and is available in Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iPhones and iPads.

For more information or to download the app, visit:

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Vincent Chang
SmartNews, Inc.
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