Party in the USA: What Indiegraf’s expansion into America means

Learn how this investment will help fill gaps in community journalism in some of the more than 2,000 news deserts

Hi there,

We’re Erin Millar and Caitlin Havlak, the co-founders of Indiegraf. H.G. Watson let us take over the Indie Publisher this week to share some big news: Indiegraf is coming Stateside!

We are honoured that New Media Ventures, a leading United States-based investment fund focused on progressive innovation, announced an investment in Indiegraf this week. Read our press release here

So what does this mean for us? NMV is co-leading our seed round of investment along with Toronto-based Marigold Capital. This investment will fund Indiegraf’s expansion into the American market and fill gaps in community journalism in some of the more than 2,000 news deserts there.

We’ll be focusing on supporting existing and new outlets that are not only filling gaps in community news, but also committed to providing more equitable news. We know communities that have long been underrepresented in the news are disproportionately impacted by the collapse of traditional local newspapers. We believe that a lack of access to quality community journalism is a form of political disenfranchisement. We want to support journalist entrepreneurs dedicated to serving underserved communities and changing the traditional power dynamics of news to better serve everyone.

Indiegraf is one of 14 early stage startups selected to join NMV’s 2020 investment portfolio from a record-breaking 1,400 applications. Here’s what NMV President Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman had to say: “In 2020, we’re investing in a new cohort of world-changing leaders, the majority of them women and people of color, who are responding directly to our country’s oppressive institutions, policies, and culture.” Read NMV’s full announcement here.

We’re proud. We’re grateful to NMV and Marigold for believing in us. And we can’t think of a more relevant mission to dedicate ourselves to at this moment than growing media pioneered by diverse local journalists.

But as fellow news entrepreneur David Skok once told us: “Being proud of raising investment is like patting yourself on the back for going grocery shopping. You might have your ingredients but you’ve still got to do all the cooking.”

We’ve got our work cut out for us, and that’s why we’re glad to be part of this growing community of fellow travellers, including you. In the coming weeks, we’ll be getting started and we would love to hear from you if you want to get involved. Here are a few connections we’re looking for:

  • We’re searching for a U.S.-based executive to join our team. Do you know of aligned leaders in this space who can help us connect with the right journalists and publishers, build strong relationships with U.S. partners in the local news ecosystem and obsess over Indiegraf’s publisher experience?
  • We’re still seeking a few more angel investors to invest alongside New Media Ventures and push our seed round over the finish line. We’re just over 80 per cent of the way to our goal.
  • We’re eager to hear about communities that need independent local news! Which publishers should be on our radar? Are you a local journalist interested in launching a news outlet?

With optimism,

Erin and Caitlin

P.S. And because we’ve taken over this newsletter to boast, we better leave this off with some tips about fundraising that we learned from our seed round.

In the news

Have a tip, pitch, question to ask, link to include, or opportunity you want to promote? Send it to me!

And one more thing… 

Poynter is now accepting applications for its Leadership Academies for Women in Media. 

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