TNL intends to integrate the two editorial teams and back-end operations, but will keep the brands and sites separate, as per a press statement.
TNL also said it has received an undisclosed sum in angel investment from Felix Hong, Manager of Nest (an Alphabet company) Taiwan. With his extensive background in tech, IoT and the startup ecosystem within Greater China, Felix Hong will be an important piece in building TNL’s future presence in content distribution, international reach and content advisory to TNL. He will also help TNL to position and build INSIDE.
Early last year, TNL raised Series B funding from a host of investors, including North Base Media (co-founded by Marcus Brauchli, previous Executive Editor of the Washington Post and Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal), WISKEY Capital, Walden International, and Trinity Investment.
According to TNL’s CEO and Co-founder Joey Chung, with the acquisition of INSIDE, along with the Chinese language site’s lifestyle sub-brand ELD, the group now reaches close to eight million unique visitors a month. TNL also has an office in Hong Kong and three other digital editions, including Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and an International Edition in English.
INSIDE has collaborated with dozens of freelancers to provide feature reports. INSIDE will now expand its market outside of Taiwan with TNL, and introduce Taiwanese startup business and innovative products and services to people around the world.
“As we start our next stage strategy of gradually consolidating and introducing different verticals for our target audience with an eye on leveraging TNL’s existing sales, video, IT and international market presence, we are eager to broaden the content offerings and international audience reach of INSIDE, while using this initial integration experience as a template for acquiring or introducing future brands,” said TNL Co-founder Chung.
Mario Yang, TNL’s Chief Content Officer and Co-founder, said the INSIDE acquisition addresses a key challenge for TNL, expanding into new verticals and integrating those content areas with existing TNL teams and products. “We want to make the user experience more fulfilling including cross membership functions, data gathering, and increasing monetiSation. We aim to continue consolidating within the Taiwan market in the coming months and afterwards put more focus on expanding into other international markets through different verticals.”
With the addition of INSIDE, The News Lens now has a staff over 70 and plans to continue expanding its international presence, sub-brands and strategic partnerships.