Apester claims to heighten reader engagement and shareability while gathering feedback – but why is it so special?
Digital storytelling platform, Apester, announced Wednesday that it has raised $5M in its series A funding round, led by Mangrove Capital Partners as well as personal funds contributed by four other investors. These investors include the former AOL CMO and founders from Wix and Amdocs. Mangrove Capital Partners were early investors in Skype, Wix, and Rdio, and a Mangrove partner Roy Saar will now join the Apester board.
Apester allows publishers to embed interactive polls, surveys, and video quizzes within stories for their readers. The idea is to create more reader engagement and make stories more shareable, all the while collecting actual reader feedback to be applied to producing more relevant future content.
This linking of brands and publishers is the model for Apester’s revenue; relying on its network of more than 400 publishers, Apester brings brands to the table to create sponsored interactive items, such as this Michelin sponsored tire safety video quiz featured on Weather.com. Then, Apester splits the advertising profits with the respective publishers. Notable participating publishers include AOL, The Huffington Post, The Next Web, and last but certainly not least, Geektime.
Will Apester hold up to the competition?
We have enjoyed Apester’s platform, though competitors such as PlayBuzz also join the ranks of survey platforms for publishers. In contrast to Apester’s consistently sleek design, PlayBuzz’s aesthetic is reminiscent of Buzzfeed with its more playful font and emphasis on visuals. While PlayBuzz takes both B2C and B2B approaches, Apester has been more focused on B2B. However, Apester CEO, Moti Cohen, hinted to Geektime that his company will be releasing new features or products within the year that take more of a B2C approach than the company has historically employed.
Cohen said that with the funding, his company plans to develop its business relationships in New York City and the rest of the United States. He would not disclose any figures on revenue, but insisted that the company had had a “great year,” citing major transactions with Michelin and Kia Motors.
Apester has 200 million impressions a month, which has been healthily increasing in the last eight months, according to Cohen. But we have to wonder – how much of an “impression” does each impression make? You tell us.
Featured Image Credit: Apester