Malaysian content aggregator Newswav said Tuesday it has raised MYR6 million ($1.43 million) in its latest Series A funding led by OSK Ventures International Berhad (OSKVI) to further strengthen its market-leader position and drive user penetration in key market segments.

Newsway said in a statement that as part of its expansion plans, part of its funds will be used towards user acquisition, strengthening their leadership in the content aggregation space, and diversifying its revenue stream.

It said that other areas where the funds will be put to use include enriching their content, driving user engagement, expanding its creators and platform, as well as scaling up its in-house ad tech capabilities.

Commenting on the fresh funds raised, its Chief Executive Officer Swee Wai Hoow said that the company hopes to revolutionize the content industry and redefine the way Malaysians consume content.

“Content consumption patterns and preferences have transformed significantly over the past decade, and were further accelerated as a result of the pandemic. We see changes not just from the type of content that users are consuming, but also the amount of time they spend online, especially on their mobile devices,” he said.

By working closely together with news and content publishers as well as individual content creators, he said the startup will be able to furnish richer, more relevant and relatable content to its users and at the same time deliver additional traffic and ad share revenue to its content partners.

“We aim to be the only content aggregator platform that Malaysians will ever need,” Swee added while acknowledging the rising demand for local and original content from its user base.

Meanwhile, OSKVI Executive Director Amelia Ong Yee Min said that the fund sees tremendous opportunity in Newswav’s business model.

“We believe that Newswav is well-positioned not only to continue its content leadership by bringing a more engaging and richer consumer experience, but also to establish an innovative approach towards content consumption and delivery that will pave the way for the content aggregator segment regionally,” she added.

Newswav is an online content aggregator and obtains its content from different online sources. With over 2 million installations, Newswav has more than 15 million average monthly visits across its mobile application and website combined. It aggregates close to 200 publications and content creators on its platforms, partnering with well-known publishers such as The Sun Daily, South China Morning Post, Malay Mail, The Edge, Sinar Harian, BFM, The Vibes, Daily Express, World Of Buzz, and more.

The politically-independent aggregator provides content in three different languages (English, Malay, Chinese) and in three different formats (articles, videos, podcasts) for audiences who prefer consuming content in different ways.

With a mobile-first focus in mind, Newswav launched its mobile application in 2017 and is now the number one content aggregator in Malaysia with close to 200 content partners, consistently topping the charts in the “News” category across Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Huawei App Gallery.

Its existing investors include BFM Capital and YYC Ventures.

“Newswav has created not just a popular content distribution platform but also a way for its media partners, independent journalists and third party contributors to monetise their content with a win-win revenue sharing model: That is Newswav’s true innovation,” said Malek Ali from BFM Capital.

YYC Group Chairman Yap Zhi Chau was also upbeat about the investment.

“Newswav has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception and I believe it will continue to revolutionise how Malaysians consume news and other contents,” he said.

In contrary to most industries that experienced huge challenges during the pandemic, Newswav registered a strong revenue performance in 2021 with up to three times revenue growth compared to the year before. Brands that have advertised on Newswav’s platform include property developers EcoWorld, Mitraland, Gamuda Land, telecommunications company U Mobile, insurance label Berjaya Sompo, online grocery platform HappyFresh, consumer electronic supplier LG and more.

“The disruption happening in the news and media industry will accelerate for the rest of this decade. We’re privileged to be given an opportunity to play a role in this exciting transformation,” said Co-Founder of Jobstreet Ng Kay Yip, who is also an early investor of Newswav.

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