Digital media startup Sesamy raises €3.3 million to build out pay-per-article concept

With SmartID, Sesamy wants to give more media brands the option of charging per article, without leaving their subscriptions flow in jeopardy.
Digital media startup Sesamy raises €3.3 million to build out pay-per-article concept

Stockholm-based startup Sesamy is fresh from a new seed raise for its pay-per-article technology, aimed at digital news and magazine publishers.

The seed round, taking Sesamy's lifetime total to €7.3 million, raised €3.3 million from investors led by GP Bullhound and including Co_Made, Tham Invest and Brofunds, as well as existing backer Hållbar and Sesamy founders Måns Ulvestam and Karl Rosander.

Many digital news and magazine publishers rely solely on advertising to generate revenue. Of those who do charge, there's a tendency to go for monthly or annual subscription models, which produce more stable revenue flows.

Sesamy's SmartID product is intended to give more publishers the option of luring pay-per-article purchases from casual readers, without threatening their top-line sales from regular subscriptions.

A key innovation is the "built-in price optimisation". With this feature, SmartID is able to optimise the price point of articles to maximise readers without deterring customers, based on in-depth analytics.

In addition to SmartID, Sesamy runs an e-media content portal for Swedish and Danish publishers of e-books, audiobooks and podcasts. Again, customers buy each publication or programme individually, without a subscription.

The seed funding will allow Sesamy to strike up more publishing alliances. It is hoped more publishers will be attracted by its SmartID innovation.

Right now Sesamy is also shouting about recent partnership deals with a couple of big Swedish titles: local startup news site Breakit, and political journalism from Kvartal, both on-boarded in October.

Måns Ulvestam, who leads Sesamy as CEO, said: "”At Sesamy, our goal is a simple yet comprehensive one: to bring back open to the internet. 

"This is why our paywall technology is transparent and flexible for both digital content creators and consumers alike; giving consumers the option to make single purchases of articles whilst ensuring subscription revenues are not cannibalised."

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