SmartNews Raises $28 Million To Grow News App

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San Francisco, CA based SmartNews, Inc, which now has 20 million active users seeking out news in its app, now has more money to expand its operations.

The startup raised $28 million in Series E funding, bringing it’s total funding to $116 million to date. It’s funding is led by Japan Post Capital Co.

The new funding brings the startups valuation to $1.1 billion.

More people are using SmartNews to get the latest news on their smartphones, as its user base is up 500% in the past year. The US and Japan are the key users of the AI driven news app, which SmartNews says delivers timely, balanced coverage of politics , sports, world news, entertainment and more. The latest funding round will be used to further drive growth in the U.S. and worldwide by continuing to build out the company’s global engineering team.

“We are very pleased with our strong progress in the United States,” said Ken Suzuki, Co-Founder and CEO of SmartNews, in a statement. “We will continue to share our vision of informed, balanced media consumption with our current and future users in the U.S. and all over the world.”

SmartNews has opened new offices in Palo Alto, Fukuoka and Shanghai to add to existing offices in Tokyo, San Francisco and New York. New hires at the company include Ken Kutaragi, formerly with Sony, joined SmartNews as outside board director, and Youlin Li joins as Vice Presdient of Engineering. Li was formerly head of infrastructure at Facebook’s News Feed.