News Break Announces $115m in Series C Funding led by Francisco Partners
Press Releases — Jan 07, 2021
New Funding to Drive Further Growth & Development of Nation’s No. 1 Intelligent Local News App
MOUNTAIN VIEW – News Break, The Nation’s No. 1 Intelligent Local News App, today announced it has closed a $115 million round in Series C funding led by Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses. Francisco Partners will gain a seat on News Break’s Board of Directors. The investment makes News Break one of the first new unicorns of 2021.
News Break has previously raised more than $36 million from investors including IDG Capital, who have also participated in this latest round.
The investment comes as News Break is experiencing greater than three times year-over-year user growth, reaching 12 million daily active users. The new funding will allow News Break to significantly increase its investments in the local-content ecosystem — both in the United States, and for the first time, internationally — making vital local news and information more easily accessible and abundantly available to people everywhere.
Already top ranked in the News category on Google Play and in the App Store, News Break is transforming how local news and information is published and shared, bringing people together around the unique and inspiring stories they mutually experience in their own communities.
“News Break’s breakout multi-year successes in the local news space is what first brought them to our attention,” said Alan Ni, Principal at Francisco Partners. “We are inspired by their mission and extremely impressed by the work they have done to bring local-news distribution into the 21st Century through cutting-edge machine learning and media savvy. We are thrilled to be partnering with News Break’s talented leadership team as they continue to drive local news innovations while also rapidly expanding their business into adjacent local verticals beyond news.”
News Break was founded in Silicon Valley in 2015 by ex-Yahoo executive Jeff Zheng, with Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang as Advisor. News Break launched its iOS and Android apps in 2016. In 2020, Harry Shum, former Executive Vice President of Artificial Intelligence and Research at Microsoft, joined News Break as Chairman of the Board. In 2021, News Break plans to substantially expand its leadership, business, product, and engineering teams.
“Today, more than 30 million app users across the country trust News Break to deliver their breaking neighborhood news,” said Jeff Zheng, CEO at News Break. “With this investment, we plan to significantly grow that number by broadening News Break’s mission to include everything local, delivering the information and services locals everywhere need to feel connected and empowered. We are thrilled to have Francisco Partners by our side as their expertise and financing will support us through this next phase of talent and user growth as we expand into new verticals and geographies.”
About Francisco Partners
Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has raised over $24 billion in committed capital and invested in more than 300 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. The firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. For more information on Francisco Partners, please visit www.franciscopartners.com.
About News Break
News Break, The Nation’s No. 1 Intelligent Local News App, is a business name of Particle Media, Inc., a Delaware Corporation, founded in Silicon Valley in 2015 by Jeff Zheng. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is Advisor. Harry Shum, former Executive Vice President of Artificial Intelligence and Research at Microsoft is Chairman of the Board. News Break’s mission is to make local information easily accessible and abundantly available, with the goal of helping people everywhere live safer, more vibrant, more truly connected lives. Its long-term vision is to be the world’s largest intelligent local information platform, connecting and empowering local users, local content creators, and local advertisers. To download News Break or to learn how to join our fast-growing team, please visit www.newsbreak.com/about.