Many publishers focus on converting visitors to subscribers, but there is another important medium – people who want to view a premium article or video, but not enough to sign up for a subscription. Fewcents, a Singapore-based fintech startup that allows publishers to accept “micropayments” for individual content, today announced it has raised $ 1.6 million in seed funding.
A few cents can be used to monetize articles, videos, and podcasts. It accepts 50 currencies and is intended to serve as a complementary revenue stream for ads and subscriptions. His current clients include Dainik Jagran of India, who has 55 million readers; Indonesian news site DailySocial; and the Dailymotion video streaming site. The company, which monetizes by sharing its revenue with digital publishers, has also partnered with Jnomics Media to expand in Europe.
Its round of financing venture capital funds M Venture Partners and Hustle Fund. Attendance also came from angel investors from some of the largest fintech, ad technology and media companies: Koh Boon Hwee (former chairman of DBS Bank); Kenneth Bishop (former Managing Director of Southeast Asia at Facebook); Jeremy Butteriss (Head of Partnerships at Stripe); Shiv Choudhury (Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group); Francesco Alberti (former APAC regional sales manager for Bloomberg Media Distribution); Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng (President of Summit Media); Prantik Mazumdar (Managing Director of Dentsu), Saurabh Mittal (President and Founder of Mission Holdings) and Nitesh Kripalani (Former Director and Country Head of Amazon Video India).
Fewcents was started last year by Abhishek Dadoo and Dushyant Khare. Dadoo’s previous startup, Shoffr, an online-offline attribution platform, was acquired by Affle in 2019. Khare spent 12 years working at Google, most notably as director of strategic partnerships in Southeast Asia. South East and India.
In an email, Dadoo and Khare told TechCrunch that only 1% to 5% of active publisher users are willing to commit to a monthly subscription. The majority are casual or referred users, and publishers rely on advertising to monetize that traffic.
Content creators are experimenting with micropayments, and other services include Flattr, which allows people to make one-time contributions, and Axate’s article payment tools. But publishers are still debating the model’s effectiveness, and last year TechCrunch reported that Google decided not to launch a failover feature for sites.
To successfully implement a pay-for-content model, publishers must not only produce compelling content, but also make it extremely easy for users to pay. For Fewcents, that means solving three key challenges, Dadoo and Khare said. First, they need to create a ubiquitous platform, as casual users won’t want to sign up for a new service every time they visit another site. It must also accept cross-border payments in local currency using the most popular payment methods, such as digital wallets. And publishers need to be able to manage digital rights, like how long a person has access to content.
Publishers also need to determine price points that will not turn buyers away, but generate enough revenue. Few people currently use existing traffic data to manually rate each piece of content. “Based on the supply-demand curve in each geographic area, we retroactively change the price to get the best revenue results,” Dadoo said. “However, as we develop our AI algorithms, the intention is to dynamically suggest pricing based on the geography and semantics of the content.”
Khare said that by unbundling content, Fewcents can also provide more detailed data than pageviews, helping them understand the preferences of specific markets and user segments, and develop personalized “micro-bundles”. He added that the goal of Fewcents is to be able to automatically recommend personalized content sets for each user.