Co-founded in 2014 by CEO Moti Cohen, Apester provides publishers and the brands they work with tools for telling stories and encouraging user engagement
This second leg of funding was led by Blumberg Capital, with participation from previous investor Mangrove Capital.
AOL’s CMO Tal Simantov, Wix Co-Founder Gigi Kaplan, Silverstein Properties President Tal Kerret, and Wellborn Ventures also took part in the round.
Co-founded in 2014 by CEO Moti Cohen, Apester provides publishers and the brands they work with tools for telling stories and encouraging user engagement. Their tool kit taps into the trend of posting quizzes and other interactives related to the content from the site in hopes of adding value for visitors.
Based in New York, Apester houses their R&D team at their Tel Aviv offices. They also maintain centers of operations in London, Tokyo, Berlin, and Istanbul for dealing with regional clients. Working with thousands of publishers, the company cites big names like Time Inc., AOL, the Daily Telegraph, the Huffington Post, FOX, USA Today, as well as BBC, and Sky out of the UK.
Apester claims to have generated over 1 billion engagements a year through their platform’s tools, leading to more than 90% in completion rates, a 20% rise in interactions with targeted content, a 25% increase in time spent on articles, and a 15% improvement in content sharing.
So how do they do it?
One of the challenges facing content creators is that of knowing what kind of content is really engaging for their audience, and to gauge what it is that they think about the relevant topics. Sometimes this can be measured by the number of page views or shares, but these measurements lack the sense of what the readers feel about the topic.
For example, let us say the Huffington Post was to post an article about the race between Bernie and Hillary. In the course of showing a video where the two candidates state their positions on different issues, HuffPo could use Apester’s platform to insert interactive questions into the video, asking viewers what they think about the politicians’ stances.
The same model holds true for brands that want to understand public perceptions about their product, or just make their native advertising more engaging.
Some of these videos are actually informative as in the case of Michelin’s sponsored video on Weather.com that tells drivers the proper actions to take in bad weather driving.
For the time being, the company says that they are utilizing and exploring a variety of business models for monetizing their product that include revenue sharing with the brands and advertisers that make up their primary client base.
Moving forward, Apester intends on using this new injection of cash to expand their product development and grow their global operations.
CEO Moti Cohen tells Geektime that, “In order to meet the needs of its publishing partners, Apester has a healthy product pipeline full of fresh features including new formats, new interactive units, new dashboards and a few exciting developments coming from Apester’s labs that are currently in stealth and will be announced in the near future.”
They will also be directing more of their focus on deep R&D and data science to grow their capabilities for predicting and identifying trends.
How do they compare?
Cohen and a number of others in the industry have realized that website visitors like to have their voices heard on a wide range of topics and see how they stack up to their fellow viewers.
Apester is not alone in this space, with significant competition coming from other players like Playbuzz, Boombox, and Quizzr.
While not personally a fan of the quiz model, it is easy to recognize from its success on platforms like BuzzFeed the role that it is playing in the online space.
Publishers can benefit from getting to better understand what kind of content appeals to their readers, as well as increasing their time on page. This is all data that can be used to approach advertisers and pump up revenues for the struggling media industry, especially in the field of sponsored content that requires added effort.
Featured Photo Credit: PR