The Chicago-based HearHere Radio – the company responsible for Rivet News Radio - announced earlier today that it has raised $1.7 million in Convertible Promissory Notes in an effort to become the the Pandora for news radio, reports Crain’s Chicago Business. Investors in this round include the Associated Press, A.H. Belo Management Services, Whittier Ventures, and Ringleader Ventures, as well as individual backing from the company’s employees, family and friends, and Chicago venture capitalist Steve Miller (founder of Origin Ventures).
Rivet Radio is HearHere’s primary product, which gives each user a personalize stream of news stories per that user’s interests or history of listened stories. Aside from the typical curation of stories from leading media outlets, such as The Associated Press, Chicago Public Media, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Crain’s Chicago Business, Rivet News Radio puts together its own collection of original news content and programming – all created by their very own news team.
“Our team is proud to be funded by this trusted group of investors,” said HearHere CEO John MacLeod in a statement. “Not only are we using these funds to bring smart audio news to more people, we’re working diligently to optimize proprietary technology that better understands listeners’ interests and delivers them exactly the news they care about.”
According to Crain’s, HearHere currently has a team of about 30 people that produces that original content (which makes up approximately 70 percent of all curated content on the news platform – a number that MacLeod hopes to decrease to 10 percent).
In addition to the funding, the company has also announced the beta release of its Android application for Rivet News. Since launching their iOS app eight months ago, the app has attracted more than 100,00 users. The Android release coincides with National Public Radio’s (NPR) recent release of its NPR One app, which also aims to provide a personalized listening experience for users.