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Online aggregated paywall service Piano Media, based in Bratislava, Slovakia, has just announced securing 2 million Euros in funding from the leading Eastern European private equity fund 3TS. Piano has previously raised 300 000 Euros from MONOGRAM Ventures, Etarget and NextBig in July 2011 as we reported here.
Why is it good news? To start with, advertisement-loaded online publications do not provide the best reading environment, so unless you use something like Evernote Clearly or Mac Reader, you are likely to get distracted with the blinking ads and what not.
Another problem of online media is the fight for Internet traffic to grow their advertisement revenue. The way Google directs traffic to the website now is not conducive to the high quality content, as it depends on frequency of posting, turning publishers with ad-based revenue model essentially into a news ticker.
For some publishers receiving extra cash from Piano paywall means hiring more senior writers and improving the quality of content, as we reported here, which was received with skepticism by one of our Balkan readers. Having launched in Slovenia in January 2012, Piano Media generated 26 000 Euros for the publishers in the first month.
The funding comes from 3TS, which has earlier backed Hungarian success story LogMeIn, an online remote connectivity and collaboration tools which raised $100 million on NASDAQ in 2009, Slovakia’s Globtel, and Czech software business Systinet. It will help Piano improve its technology and expand internationally.
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