Mobile news reader app Pulse secures $9 million in funding, surpasses 4 million users

Jun 17, 2011
Tech

Apple App Store Hall of Famer Pulse had a great day Thursday as it secured $9 million in Series A funding and surpassed 4 million users across its mobile platforms, from 200,000 users as of November last year. The social and visual news reader application for iPad, iPhone and Android, which began as a class […]

Apple App Store Hall of Famer Pulse had a great day Thursday as it secured $9 million in Series A funding and surpassed 4 million users across its mobile platforms, from 200,000 users as of November last year.

The social and visual news reader application for iPad, iPhone and Android, which began as a class project at Stanford University, has become a 10-person company that has focused on interaction design for the past year. “The Pulse team understands product design and how consumers interact with mobile content,” said Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer, who is now serving as an advisor to the company’s board of directors. “They essentially created the news reader category when they launched on the iPad, and are redefining how people consume news.” The app has content partnerships with media outlets such as AOL, TIME, Yahoo! News, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and The Huffington Post, in addition to offering content discovery features and integration with Google Reader.

The company plans to use the funds for an engineer hiring spree and more features, including enhancements to Pulse.me, which allows users to save stories to read in the future. Pulse is also seeking to incorporate features that aid users in better connecting with each other when it comes to the news-reading experience. Additionally, the app, which is similar to Flipboard on the iPad, plans to look to additional mobile platforms, perhaps including webOS for the new HP tablets.

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Surely the company is hoping to stack up new users at the same pace it has stacked up awards, including the Apple Design Award and being selected as an Android Editor’s Choice app and one of TIME’s Top 50 iPhone apps of 2011. And, as the company gathers users, it will also need to craft a business model and ways to monetize its news-reading experience to move it beyond the initial venture capital funding it has received.

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