Write stuff: Publishing platform Medium raises $US57 million – StartupSmart

Publishing startup Medium has raised $US57 million, which will be used to try to make its platform “the dominant pipeline for connecting quality content and conversation”.


The $US57 million round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and included participation from existing investors Google Ventures, Greylock Partners, Obvious Ventures, The Chernin Group, and a number of angel investors.


Medium, founded by former Twitter chairman and CEO Evan Williams, has now raised a total of $US82 million.


The startup is still looking for a viable business model. Last year it launched Gone, a travel publication with Marriott International, and design-focused publication Re:form with BMW. The two sites are a combination of native advertising and paid sponsorship.


In a post discussing the funding round, Medium’s head of operations Andy Doyle says the funding allows the startup to continue working towards realizing its vision.


“Many digital media companies are trapped in a negative cycle. Distribution happens primarily through networks that optimize click-through over quality, forcing creators to learn content and marketing parlour tricks instead of allowing them to focus on creating fresh perspectives,” Doyle says.


“It has forced advertisers to look elsewhere for deeper engagement. And it has frustrated individual writers and organised media brands alike.


“At Medium we operate in a fundamentally different way. We don’t focus on pageviews, unique visitors, or click metrics. We don’t litter the platform with ads that are low quality, high clutter. We don’t tolerate bad behaviour in the community. And we don’t violate people’s privacy.”





Since launching in October 2013 Medium has grown to have more than 20,000 users each week.


“Whether you post, highlight, recommend, or respond – Medium helps you move other people, see issues through a different lens, change minds, and inspire action,” Doyle says.


“We are confident this is the best model for both creators and audience in the long run.”


Google Ventures general partner M.G Siegler says it takes more than great writing tools and nice presentation to create fantastic content.


“But that’s where the community comes in, to highlight, recommend, or respond to what they read,” he says.


“While I’m continually finding interesting things shared from Medium, it’s the content that the Medium community surfaces on the platform that has started to really shine.


“Medium is the best.. well, medium, I’ve come across at getting thoughts from brain to web. And now with more resources to do so, I know Medium will continue that cause.”


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