NewsWhip sees jump in recurring subscription revenues

Social media monitoring company sees losses narrow as it cites continued growth

NewsWhip founders Paul Quigley and Andrew Mullaney

NewsWhip founders Paul Quigley and Andrew Mullaney

 

Dublin-headquartered social media monitoring company NewsWhip reduced operating losses last year as it saw a rise in recurring subscription revenues.

The company, which has in recent years significantly increased investment in its technology platform, reported operating losses of €2.5 million in 2018, as against €3.3 million a year earlier.

Founded by Paul Quigley and Andrew Mullaney in 2011, NewsWhip uses predictive data and analytics to identify breaking news stories and for crisis monitoring purposes. The company has more than 500 of the world’s leading publishers, brands and agencies as customers, including big names such as Walmart, Condé Nast, Reuters, Mastercard, IBM, Ford, the Washington Post and Microsoft.

NewsWhip reported a 23 per cent rise to €5.7 million in annualised recurring revenue (ARR), a metric commonly used by companies that offer subscriptions. Turnover climbed to €4.5 million from €4 million, newly filed accounts show.

Corporate reputations

The company started out as a consumer app for trending news before it decided to expand its offering to help clients better manage their corporate reputations. This now accounts for over half of NewsWhip’s business, Mr Quigley said.

“The same technology that can tell journalists in newsrooms which stories are going to be big can also alert a PR firm to a story that will impact their client, allowing them to respond better,” he said.

“Public attitudes can shift on things extremely quickly and so being able to monitor trends is helpful,” Mr Quigley added, citing the rise of “flight shaming” and the possible impact of it for airlines as an example.

He forecast a further rise in revenues for NewsWhip for 2019 and said while the company wasn’t expecting to make a profit, losses would continue to decline in line with the strategy agreed with its backers.

Funding round

NewsWhip, which has offices in Dublin and New York, has raised just over $9 million (€8.3 million) to date, including $6.4 million in a series A funding round in early 2017 that was led by Tribal Ventures.

Other backers include the Associated Press, Japanese publisher the Asahi Shimbun, Enterprise Ireland and AIB Seed Capital Fund.

Mr Quigley and Mr Mullaney were named “best emerging entrepreneurs” at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2016. Mr Mullaney stepped down as chief technology officer with the company last September and has gone on to co-found a start-up called Premind.ai.

NewsWhip employed 51 people at the end of last year, with staff costs increasing to €5.2 million from €4.3 million in 2017.