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South African startup Jottr set out to big make waves in Silicon Valley. Backed by a hefty amount of seed investment, the company’s artificial intelligence technology has been hailed a game-changer in content discovery on the web.
Since we met up with the founders in April, the trio (who then also met each other for the first time in real life) managed to successfully raise more than US$1-million in June, with an additional US$100 000 credit received from Amazon Web Services.
The investment was secured through various family funds based in Malta, the UK and the Netherlands, among some others angels.
The company has also officially launched its iOS app. This comes after the content-discovery platform went from an initial 500 beta users in March to more than 1 000 monthly active users in August.
Co-founder Michael Haupt notes that the majority of Jottr’s users are from the US, with the UK and South Africa close behind. He elaborates on the app’s traction:
Feedback has been incredibly positive, with many users saying the app is ‘addictive’. Average session time is currently above 18 minutes. We have gathered feedback from early adopters and used the valuable input to continue improving the early version of the product.
In a press release sent to Ventureburn, the company explains the problem it tries to solve. People are faced with what Jottr refers to as “infobesity” — the condition of continually consuming large amounts of information. An overindulgence of information has a negative effect on a person’s well-being and ability to concentrate.
The average person cycles through dozens of news sources before finding the entertaining or professional content they seek. Jottr hopes to fix the way we come across content that’s relevant to our initial search.
“You won’t be assaulted by irrelevant news, you won’t be sent off on a tangent,” the startup explains its product. “The sources span every genre, covering interests from comical to PhD level, ensuring the most intelligent humans can research effectively using this artificial intelligence tool for good.”
The bulk of the funds will be used for further app development, marketing and business development. It will be interesting to see what the company can conjure up within the next two years given the massive seed round.
Haupt says that Jottr is set to launch a number of online user acquisitions campaigns later this month to coincide with the end of the US and UK summer holidays. “We are actively working on a number of potential partnerships with content publishers and other app developers,” Haupt says.
Jottr is also planning to reach out to online influencers with pre-prepared Jottr accounts so they can experience the power of personalised news with their Jottr account first-hand.