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  • Portfolio News
  • 25 January 2017
  • 18 min read
  • Words: Northzone

Northzone leads $16m round in Sourcepoint

Northzone led the Series B funding round in the US and Europe based company, with General Partner Pär-Jörgen Pärson joining the board

Sourcepoint, the first content compensation platform for premium digital publishers, today announced it has closed a $16 million round in Series B funding led by new investor Northzone, with support from existing investors, including Spark Capital, Foundry Group, Accel Partners, and Greycroft Partners. This latest round brings the total raised since the company’s launch in June 2015 to $26 million.

Pär-Jörgen Pärson, General Partner at Northzone led the investment and will also join Sourcepoint’s Board of Directors. Pärson, who serves on the board of successful global digital businesses including Spotify, commented: “We are delighted to support Sourcepoint as it continues to innovate within the online publishing industry, providing solutions to revolutionize an individual’s experience of online content consumption. We are particularly excited about their work in creating subscription offerings for the digital content environment as it is no longer assumed that audiences must pay for content with their eyeballs by viewing ads.”

The Series B funding round will further power Sourcepoint’s development and footprint to support the company’s mission to achieve a sustainable media ecosystem. In the 18 months since technology industry veterans Ben Barokas, Brian Kane, Geir Magnusson Jr., and Jeroen Seghers founded Sourcepoint, the company has worked across Europe and the US to raise awareness of the changes required to develop a sustainable ecosystem, including the importance of content compensation. Working with leading international publishers including Dennis Publishing, Gruner & Jahr, AOL, and Nyheter24, Sourcepoint identifies monetization challenges – including the use of ad block software – and provides solutions to engage with audiences on compensation choice.

Commenting on the company’s solid growth, Sourcepoint’s CEO Ben Barokas said: “This second round of funding is critical to Sourcepoint’s next phase of growth; as the industry moves from compensation awareness – brought about in part by the increasing understanding of ad block usage – to compensation consent, our aim is to deliver the best compensation experience for publishers and consumers. By providing a choice of alternative revenue models, including subscription-based models, we want to empower publishers to proactively engage with audiences.”

Barokas continues: “We’re entering an interesting period for the digital media and advertising industry — with the European GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) due to come into force in 2018, data compliance, open communications, and transparency are top of mind for publishers. It will soon be required to have conversations with audiences about how and why their data is used; not only will that clarify how an individual’s data is used, it also provides a key moment for publishers to underline the value exchange of how content is traditionally funded and engage with audiences on choices around content compensation.”

Utilizing the investment, Sourcepoint plans to accelerate future product development — building on 2016’s Dialogue launch – improving and increasing the variety of communications options and funding mechanisms publishers can access to ensure consumers can select methods that suit their unique needs, and preferences. The increased investment will also allow the company to realize its longer-term goal of becoming the “Spotify for digital content”, creating a cross-publisher subscription platform for audiences based on a one-payment structure. Additionally, the company will be able to extend the current scale of its offering. In particular, Sourcepoint aims to continue expansion across Europe, giving publishers in the region the ability to work in partnership with their audiences by offering a flexible range of transparent compensation choices.

Sourcepoint has received industry-wide support:

Jeff Turner, Senior Director of Product Strategy, at AOL, said: Sourcepoint’s diversified suite of solutions is ideal for a company with a wide variety of publisher properties such as AOL, as it allows us to match an ideal user experience to each publisher’s unique audience composition. The technology that underpins the content compensation platform, along with the team’s expert guidance creates an unrivaled service.”

Nick Flood, Head of Product at Dennis Publishing commented: “We believe there needs to be a fair value exchange between users and premium publishers. Sourcepoint’s platform provides us the ability to communicate with ad block users, test various compensation methods and generate revenue which is key to our digital business. We firmly believe that publishers should be compensated for their significant investment in premium content and digital experiences.”

Oliver von Wersch, Managing Director, Growth Projects & Strategic Partnerships at Gruner+Jahr, commented: “Adblocking is a big and complex challenge for the entire media industry. All market players are required to further improve the quality of online advertising as well as to develop flexible solutions in this complex area together with reliable partners – as Sourcepoint is for G+J.”

Northzone will join Sourcepoint’s other key investors: Spark Capital, Foundry Group, Greycroft, and Accel Partners Europe., who, along with a set of strategic angel investors, including former Millennial Media CEO Michael Barrett, MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki, Moat CEO Jonah Goodhart, and LiveIntent CEO Matt Keiser, have prior to this round contributed $10 million funding to the content compensation platform.

About Sourcepoint

Headquartered in New York with offices in London, Berlin, and Seattle, Sourcepoint provides premium publishers with content compensation alternatives that foster more open, balanced and transparent value exchanges with consumers. Founded by technology veterans and backed by Northzone, Spark Capital, Foundry Group, Accel, and Greycroft, Sourcepoint was founded to meet the expanding compensation challenges faced by premium publishers. Learn more at www.sourcepoint.com.