Tribune Media invests big in local digital news startup
Michelle Clancy
| 09 November 2014
TV news startup Watchup has raised a new $2.75 million funding round, led by Tribune Media.

The infusion Watchup’s total amount raised to $4.25 million. The McClatchy Company and existing investors Knight Enterprise Fund, Stanford-StartX Fund, Ned Lamont, Gordon Crovitz and Jim Friedlich also participated.

Tribune clearly sees potential in digital distribution and the attendant advertising growth.

“Watchup extends our vision of expanding the reach of quality local news content, and we are excited to invest in a product dedicated to ensuring that local news is available everywhere,” said Larry Wert, president of broadcasting at Tribune Media.

Watchup delivers a personalised newscast from global news sources to a tablet, smartphone or other devices. The service curates news from media outlets like PBS NewsHour, CNET, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Univision and hundreds of others via the Watchup app, which is available in Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Google Glass and Amazon App Store.

Founded in 2012 at Stanford University’s StartX accelerator, the company previously raised $1.5 million from the Stanford-StartX Fund, the Knight Foundation, and media veterans like the former WSJ executives Gordon Crovitz and Jim Friedlich, Campus Televideo founder Ned Lamont and ABC News veteran Tom Yellin.

“The visual Web is becoming increasingly important to digital media companies, and we see Watchup as being a key innovator in this space,” said Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s president and CEO. “Given the strides McClatchy has been making to expand our own video content, we knew we had to be involved with Adriano and his team.”