Indonesian news app Baca has raised more than $20 million of Series B investment from Chinese companies Bertelsmann Asia Investment (BAI), Crystal Stream, and CC Zhuang, its president and director Jimmy Sie said.
The fresh funds will be used for expansion to Brazil, where it aims to acquire a million active users.
Baca’s parent company, Hong Kong-based News in Palm, sees itself as a global firm that deploys local employees in the countries it operates in. After Brazil, News in Palm intends to widen its reach to other regions.
Baca claims to have touched 1 million active users in Indonesia. The news app collects up to 25,000 news articles from over 500 media sources on a daily basis. It analyses articles read by users and provides content based on their preferences.
“We monetize from advertisements placed at the bottom of the articles,” Sie told reporters in Jakarta.
To compete with other news aggregators like Babe and Kurio, Baca has developed special features for Indonesian users. It says it does not require users to create an account, and is very economical in data usage.
“We are preparing some offline and online promotion strategies to acquire more users,” Sie said.
Baca’s new investor BAI, wholly-owned by German firm Bertelsmann, is focussed on new media, internet and mobile internet, online education, new technology, outsourcing and services.
In October 2014, BAI set up BetaFund to promote business ideas at the very early “angel” stage. In the next few years, BetaFund will invest $10 million-level funds in innovation, with a focus on mobility, social networking, intelligent hardware, games, education, enterprise services and contents.
BetaFund pays attention to proactive post-investment coaching, management and offers its portfolios Bertelsmann’s global resources and support.