Many publishers are focused on converting visitors into subscribers, but there is another important bracket: people who want to see premium articles or videos, but not enough to sign up for a subscription. Futures, a Singapore-based fintech startup that enables publishers to take “micropayments” for individual pieces of content, announced today that it has raised $ 1.6 million in seed funding.
Can be used for monetization of certain articles, videos and podcasts. It accepts 50 currencies and is meant to serve as a supplementary stream of revenue for advertising and subscription. Its current customers include Dainik Jagran of India, which has a readership of 55 million; Indonesian news site DailySocial; And streaming video site Dailymotion. The company, which demonetizes revenue by sharing revenue with digital publishers, also partnered with Genomics Media to expand into Europe.
Its funding round is Venture Capital Fund M Venture Partners and Hustle Fund. There were also participation from investors from some of the top fintech, edtech and media companies: Koh Boon Hwe (Chairman of DBS Bank); Kenneth Bishop (Former Managing Director of Southeast Asia on Facebook); Jeremy Butteris (Head of Partnership at Stripe); Shiv Chaudhary (Partner and Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group); Francesco Alberti (former APAC Regional Sales Director for Bloomberg Media Distribution); Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng (Summit Media President); Prantik Mazumdar (Dentsu Managing Director), Saurabh Mittal (President and Founder of Mission Holdings) and Nitesh Kripalani (Former Director and Head of Amazon Video India).
Some films were launched last year by Abhishek Dadu and Dushyant Khare. Dadu’s previous startup, the online-to-offline attribution platform, was acquired by Affle in 2019. Khare spent 12 years at Google, serving as the Director of Strategic Partnerships in Southeast Asia and India.
In an email, Dadu and Khare told ClearTips that only 1% to 5% of publishers’ active users committed to a monthly subscription. Most people are casual or referring users, and publishers depend on advertising to monetize that traffic.
Content creators are experimenting with microelements, and other services include Flatr, which allows people to create one-time contributions and Acat’s pay-per-article tools. But publishers still debate how effective the model is and last year, ClearTips reported that Google decided not to introduce a tipping feature for sites.
To successfully implement the pay-per-content model, publishers not only need to produce compelling content, but it is also very easy for people to pay for it. For fewcents, this means solving three major challenges, Dadu and Khare said. First, they need to create a ubiquitous platform, as casual users will not want to sign up for a new service every time they visit another site. It has to accept cross-border payments in the local currency using the most popular payment methods, like digital wallets. And publishers need to be able to manage digital rights, such as how long someone has access to their content.
Publishers need to set price points that will not drive away buyers, but will generate substantial revenue. Currently uses some existing traffic data to manually price each piece of content. Dadu said, “Based on the supply-demand curve within each geography, we change the price to get the best revenue result.” “However, as we develop our AI algorithm, intentions suggest dynamic pricing based on geography and semantics of content.”
Khare said that by unbundling content, fecants can provide more in-depth data than pageviews, enabling them to understand the preferences of specific markets and user segments and to develop customized “micro-bundles”. He said the goal of Fewcents is to be able to automatically recommend customized content bundles for each user.