Jan 18, 2022 - Economy

RocaNews raises $4.4 million to bring games to news


RocaNews, an Instagram news brand with 1 million followers, has raised $4.4 million in a seed round led by Ori Allon, the co-founder and executive chair of Compass Real Estate.

Why it matters: The team plans to add gaming features to the news app it's acquiring to help boost engagement.

Driving the news: In addition to the round, the company has acquired River News, an app that provides news stories via a scrollable video feed, similar to TikTok, per RocaNews CEO Max Towey.

  • River's investors include Founders Fund, 406 Ventures and Scooter Braun. They are now Roca investors.
  • The company, which launched in early 2020, has 8 employees and is budgeted for 15 employees by the end of the year.
  • In addition to its social media and app presence, it also has a newsletter with 50,000 free email subscribers, per Towey.

The big picture: Towey said he isn't worried about Instagram algorithm changes because most of its traffic comes from its direct followers, not Instagram's "Explore" page.

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