Globaltronics chairman William Guido said the funding is only an initial backing by the company to Freyo, adding that the company might invest more as other business partners come in.
Freyo’s business model is to serve as a newsstand app where people can access and consume contents of popular magazines anywhere, anytime via their PCs or mobile devices for free. The startup will earn from company advertisements.
“This is just initial support. We are helping [Freyo] as an investor and also as a marketing partner,” Guido said, in an interview with DEALSTREETASIA. “We’re helping them to promote Freyo digital mag, mostly through our LTE outdoor and indoor display, urging advertisers to advertise so we can monetize it.”
Freyo chairman and CEO Jay Bernardo said although the startup was founded barely a year ago, its value has risen from P25 million to P55 million. The startup’s goal is to revolutionize the way people experience digital magazines and to democratize magazine by making contents available to everyone.
Bernardo said Freyo has gained support from different media entities and businessmen who believe in its business model. He led a formal media launch of Freyo last week in Makati City where he announced the app’s tie ups with over 800 magazines who are into fashion, travel, celebrities, food, weddings, sports, and cars.
Bernardo is an entrepreneurship professor who works closely with the Department of Education and the International Labor Organization in designing and institutionalizing entrepreneurship education for the high school level.
He was the founder of the LET’S GO (Leading Entrepreneurs Towards Sensing Global Opportunities) Foundation, a non-profit, non stock organization that aims to support small and medium scale entrepreneurs.
Guido said Globaltronics sees Freyor’s digital newsstand as a scalable business as increasing number of people consume media content online.
“Print magazine will still be there but I believe the digital magazine will get a bigger share of the market,” he said. “The ad rates maybe lower online but the volume is higher. It’s a volume numbers game. In print, your charge is high but the volume is small.”
Guido said Globaltronics intends to support more local startups. It invested in a Philippine-based startup last year, funding TheKard, the maker of the MobKard App which provides digital privilege card services or mobile card offerings for customers.