SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 18, 2013) - Swell, a new mobile listening experience for news and information that learns what you like as you listen, today announced that it has raised $5.4M in Series A funding led by DFJ and managing director Josh Stein. Google Ventures, InterWest Partners, Correlation Ventures, and Draper Nexus Ventures also participated in the round. Swell launched to the public in June, and is available for iOS in the Apple iTunes Store http://appstore.com/conceptioinc/swellradio.
DFJ managing director Josh Stein identified Swell as a strong investment opportunity and committed to an investment relatively early in the process. Josh has been a Swell advocate and passionate user since the early alpha app.
"By seeking to revolutionize the way we consume talk radio, Swell solves a problem for many consumers that is real: making unproductive time -- like commuting -- more valuable," said Josh Stein, managing director, DFJ. "The broad movement toward greater personalization provides a well-timed opportunity for Swell to redefine the way we consume talk radio."
Like Pandora, Swell streams news and information based on listener preferences and behavior. Swell's vision is to elevate the radio experience with a listener-focused recommendation algorithm, delivering curated news and information that learns as you listen so it's always sending you the most relevant content. The more you listen, the more finely tuned the recommendations become, rewarding the smart and curious with quality content that keeps them informed and entertained.
Since launch, Swell users are demonstrating strong engagement with the product. On the first day of use, users listen to Swell on average for over 30 minutes. Returning users listen to Swell for over 110 minutes per week and over 40 minutes per day on average.
"We are pleased to have the support of a top-tier investment team, and we appreciate their confidence in us to execute on our vision," said Ram Ramkumar, Co-Founder and CEO of Swell. "We're off to a great start and we recognize this is just the beginning. We plan to use this investment to help us continue to innovate, and change the way people listen to news radio."
Swell had previously raised $1.8M in seed funding led by Google Ventures, with Charles River Ventures, DFJ, Andreessen Horowitz, Inspovation Ventures, and angels participating. Swell is currently hiring for several key roles in engineering and growth hacking; for more information please visit www.swell.am.
Swell was founded in 2012 by G.D. (Ram) Ramkumar, Keshav Menon and Dominic Hughes, experienced repeat entrepreneurs, Computer Science Ph.D.s, and researchers from Stanford. Members of the Swell (Concept.io) team were co-creators of pioneering mobile application SnapTell, acquired by Amazon in 2009. Swell's mission is to be the world's most relevant and easy-to-use audio news service, bringing the listener the content they want to hear most, wherever they are. Swell strives to inform and entertain listeners by serving content that matches their interest profile.
For more information, please visit www.swell.am.
DFJ is a venture capital firm that partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs who set out to change the world. Since 1985, DFJ and the DFJ Global Network have had $7B committed to their funds and have managed more than 400 portfolio investments, including AdMob, Baidu, Box, Skype, Hotmail, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, Twitter, Tumblr and Yammer. DFJ works with companies at seed, early and growth stages, with the goal of creating iconic and lasting businesses. DFJ pioneers investing in emerging markets including consumer and enterprise information technology, digital media, and disruptive technologies. The DFJ Global Network is a federation of 16 independent venture funds operating on four continents that cooperate on investment diligence and co-investing. Learn more at dfj.com.
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