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River, the latest venture from Wander founder Jeremy Fisher, launches with $10.4 million in funding – TechCrunch

River, the most recent enterprise from Wander founder Jeremy Fisher, has at present introduced the shut of a $10.four million funding spherical from Founders Fund, .406, BoxGroup, Josh Kushner and Scooter Braun.

River is supposed to rethink the best way we devour content material throughout the web. The app pulls tales and content material from throughout your complete web, together with from publishers, Twitter and different social media, and so forth. and organizes that content material based mostly on the subject.

For instance, the affirmation hearings for Hon. Amy Coney Barrett had been in my River feed this morning, with tales from all kinds of publishers. River clips the story all the way down to a headline, however offers customers the power to click on by way of to the complete textual content of the story. The app additionally prioritizes video content material, giving customers an opportunity to get extra context on the story with out clicking by way of in any respect.

What’s most fascinating about River, nonetheless, is that there isn’t a consumer account or profile, and no following. That signifies that the conduct of a person consumer (or a cellphone, as Fisher calls it) would be the solely affect on the content material they’re served, reasonably than their social graph enjoying a task. In response to PEW, 55 percent of U.S. adults get their information both ‘usually’ or ‘generally’ from social media. The mix of the social graph with data consumption may cause echo chambers and social media has been a spot the place misinformation can proliferate shortly.

River serves up content material from publishers and throughout the online with out utilizing account data, a social graph, or previous searching historical past, which permits these customers to find a broader vary of views. The extra customers get on the platform, the higher it will get at serving them the content material that’s related to them.

Onboarding to River merely consists of ticking bins for classes that curiosity you and also you’re off to the races.

Relatively than understanding all the things concerning the consumer, River tries to grasp all the things it may concerning the content material itself.

“We have a look at issues like: who revealed that content material, whether or not they’re knowledgeable or an everyday client, whether or not they’re a part of a company that’s a subsidiary of one other group, what placement in that publication do they usually get, how are they linked to different folks, what are the subjects which might be in that tweet or that video or that article,” mentioned Fisher. “We have a look at how all these issues are associated to 1 one other.”

Fisher and his cofounders Lev Brie and Leland Maschmeyer had initially deliberate to launch River earlier than the pandemic struck with a wide range of social sharing options. Nonetheless, because the pandemic hit and protests within the wake of George Floyd’s homicide grew into a world motion, the workforce realized that each consumption and content material sharing had been evolving quickly.

This led the workforce to rethink the sharing options inside River and finally construct a standalone, separate app referred to as Overflow.

Overflow permits customers to put up a selfie video alongside information content material out to different social networks. Overflow has an editorially chosen feed of content material from customers, however customers may put their movies on their Instagram Tales or TikTok.

With $10 million+ in funding, River shouldn’t be at present planning any particular income fashions.

The workforce is made up of 12 folks and Fisher says {that a} third of the workforce is “various,” however declined to specify the breakdown by gender and/or ethnicity.

Fisher has been constructing merchandise for practically ten years, most notably coming from Wander, which sold to Yahoo back in 2014.

When requested what he discovered from Wander that carries into River, he mentioned that it’s about constructing a product that matches into the gaps of already established consumer conduct and preserving issues so simple as potential.

“Usually, you begin with a extremely overdetermined product and an perspective that ‘extra is extra’,” mentioned Fisher. “What I’ve discovered over time is {that a} product is the typical of its options and never the sum of its options. Incremental issues really detract from the expertise. You need each function to be a ’10’.”

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Jordan Crook