Founded by Kaisei Hamamoto


Trusted by over 40+ million worldwide readers, SmartNews provides the best news, stories and events across 200+ local news sites.

The $150B+ global news industry has been undergoing a profound transformation for well over a decade. News is more accessible and more widely consumed than ever before, but the means of delivery and the industry’s economic model are still undergoing significant disruption.

If the first wave of change was brought by the explosion of desktop Internet access, the second wave has been fuelled by the spread of smartphones and tablets, enabling entirely new ways to discover and consume news. Against this backdrop of ongoing disruption, there is a huge opportunity for products that are both loved by users and also work economically for news publishers.

That’s why we’re delighted to be co-leading a $36m investment round in SmartNews, a remarkable company that has created one of Japan’s leading mobile news apps, winning users and awards alike. The product has truly astonishing user engagement, thanks to its powerful technology that identifies and presents trending news in a manner perfectly suited to smartphone consumption.

The team has also successfully formed partnerships with major Japanese publishers, who see the value the product can provide both in terms of readership and new revenues. And importantly, having achieved huge domestic success, the team is rightly ambitious about the global potential.

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