2020. A Newsadoo review.
2020. A year that will go down in history. The Corona pandemic, which in addition to uncertainty and fear also claims many lives and causes companies to go bankrupt, still has the entire world firmly in its grip even now in January 2021. In Austria, we have already experienced several lockdowns. The hope of soon returning from the 'new normality' to everyday life known from before the pandemic is still present. And perhaps finally within reach. A review of the year.
Probably no one expected the Corona crisis. Few would have thought that week-long lockdowns would be enforced - and that more than once. We, too, switched from working in our office to home office. An unusual, but necessary, change. Conversations at the coffee machine turned into daily stand-ups and video calls. Cat content is as popular as brought-in birthday cake back in the day. Despite children and cats entertaining us from the background, we are looking forward to everyday life in the office again, not only to finally see our new colleagues live.
News is more important than ever since March last year. Infection figures, vaccinations and lockdown rules, new and updated information is available every second. To make it as easy as possible for our users to stay up to date, we offer them a Corona tracker with current case numbers and a channel on the topic that collects all the news on Covid-19.
Improved tagging, the first premium sources, dark mode... Despite a sweatpants vibe, we haven't been resting. Our motivation in a number: 20 new app versions launched in 2020. Among them, our newest feature: Trending Stories. Just go to the app and swipe through the latest news from your country. Newsabot has also come to life, guiding new users through onboarding and onward in the service. Does it steal the show from our employees? Certainly.
What do Laola1, das Lamm, die Wienerin, Deutsche Welle, nordbayern.de and Men's Health have in common? That's right, last year we were able to win them all as publisher partners for our service. All sources are available in the kiosk.
Projects and sponsorships
Big projects? Yes, we can! Together with RISC and SCCH, we launched our TIDE project (Transparent, Intelligent, Diverse, European News Recommendation Algorithm). TIDE was supported by the FFG with about one million Euros. Big tasks like this also need big goals: We want to further develop the Newsadoo recommendation algorithm and make it the best in Europe.
Newsadoo received fresh capital from Raiffeisen Innovation Invest for growth financing. In this financing round, we received around 2.2 million euros from existing investors, FFG and aws.
Awards, awards, awards! There were some awards where it is worth to celebrate together, at least virtually. We were selected as one of the world's 27 best technology projects by the top-class jury of the MTL Tech Awards 2020 in Montreal. At the Digital Publishing Awards 2020, presented during the Frankfurt Book Fair, Newsadoo was shortlisted by the jury as one of three finalists in the Process/Technology category.
What else? We've been named Product of the Day and Product of the Week on ProductHunt. We are also a winner of the State Prize for Innovation 2020 (category "Business Model Innovation"), awarded by the State of Upper Austria and Business Upper Austria.
2020 was clearly the year of online trade fairs. We had planned so much. Starting with the MWC in Barcelona or attending the SXSW in Texas. A new, digital format was needed. Like the MTL Tech Awards Canada online trade show, for example, to which we were invited, or the Fifteen Seconds Alps. Contacts were made and intensified even during the difficult times. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to when no screen separates us from our counterpart anymore. Maybe we will see each other sooner than expected at the next fair? We will be there.
Growth needs potential and skills. As diverse as possible. Last year we welcomed three new employees in the development team at Newsadoo. Harald Holzner (Software Developer), Johannes Wöß (Software Developer) and Ondrej Jaura (Software Engineer, Data Scientist, AI Specialist). Great to have you here!