Saturday 08 August 2020

Online newspaper kiosk Blendle is taken over by French peer

Alexander Klopping. Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijzen ANP

Dutch digital news aggregator Blendle is being taken over by French peer Cafeyn for an undisclosed sum.

Blendle launched in 2014 as an online news platform that collected articles from a variety of newspapers and magazines and sold them on a pay-per-article basis. Last year, the company switched to a subscription service providing readers with pre-selected article suggestions and magazine access for €10 a month.

Blendle, which operates in the Netherlands, Germany and the US, currently has some 50,000 paying subscribers and 30,000 trial members, but has never made a profit, booking a loss of €3m in 2018.

‘We are good at technology but less good at being commercial,’ founder and chief executive Alexander Klopping, who owns 25% of the shares, told the Volkskrant in an interview.

Blendle has attracted considerable outside investment since it was founded. In 2018, investors, BookSpot, a unit of Novamedia and the Danish entrepreneur Morten Strunge invested a combined €4m in the company.

The New York Times and Germany’s Axel Springer (Bild, Die Welt) invested €3m in 2015 while in 2017, Japan’s Nikkei, which owns the Financial Times, and the Amsterdam investment club Inkef put an undisclosed sum into the company.

Blendle will become fully integrated into Cafeyn and the combined group will have 2,500 newspapers and magazines in its stable. Klopping, 33, will stand down as CEO but will remain on the board.

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