SA’s Jottr raises $1m, rolls out iOS app

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South African content delivery startup Jottr has raised over US$1 million, plus an additional US$100,000 credit from Amazon Web Services, to cover its first year server costs as it prepares user acquisition campaigns in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK).

Built in South Africa, Jottr is content-driven app that connects users to thousands of valuable content sources and claims to deliver personalised experiences through analysis of a user’s behaviour.

The app builds a personal interest graph for each user, filtering news releases and blog articles to provide users with only relevant news.

“You won’t be assaulted with irrelevant news, you won’t be sent off on a tangent. You won’t begin by searching for “cute puppies” then end with images of pink elephants. The sources span every genre, covering interests from comical to PhD level ensuring the most intelligent humans can research effectively using this Artificial Intelligence tool for good,” the startup said.

The funding, wrapped up at the end of June, was raised from private family funds in Malta, the Uk and the Netherlands, as well as three individual investors. The funds will be used to complete the development of the recently released iOS app, commence development of an Android app and roll out marketing initiatives.

Jottr said it has so far reached 1,000 monthly active users through word of mouth alone, with the majority of these users based in the US, with the UK and South Africa close behind.

“Feedback has been incredibly positive, with many users saying the app is “addictive”. Average session time is currently above 18 minutes,” Jottr said.

“We have gathered feedback from early adopters and used the valuable input to continue improving the early version of the product.”

The startup is now set to launch a number of online user acquisition campaigns to coincide with the end of the US and UK summer holidays. It is also working on a number of potential partnerships with content publishers and other app developers.

“We are anticipating significant online and press coverage as well as rapid growth in user numbers.

We are reaching out to online influencers with pre-prepared Jottr accounts so they can experience first-hand the power of personalized news with their Jottr account,” Jottr said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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