Polar Mobile Raises $6 Million to Launch One-Size-Fits-All-Devices Publishing Platform

One of the most successful app development companies in Canada, with over $3 million in existing funding, the company counts some of the world’s largest publishers as customers, with the Wall Street Journal, CBS Interactive and more using Polar-powered apps. According to today’s announcement, the company has worked with 380 media brands in 12 countries and has served over 1.6 billion page views to 11 million users to-date.

The company has traditionally helped publishers, broadcasters and sports media brands develop native applications for tablets and smartphones. Their new MediaEverywhere product is an HTML5-based solution designed to deliver content to multiple devices. Instead of focusing entirely on app-based content, it will also provide browser-based optimized content, and will allow clients to create, run and manage the platform in-house. Gupta says he believes browser-based experiences are going to improve into something more app-like. “Mobile media consumption today is heavily premised on app-based environments, so it is difficult to perform well without a great product that users demand,” he said in an interview, adding that with the adoption of HTML5 standards “publishers will have to operate in both of these environments to continue serving their whole digital audience.”

Polar has traditionally helped publishers optimize content for smartphones and tablets through native apps. Their new product reflects the increasing popularity of browser-based content optimization tools like Pressly and OnSwipe, who have started offering publishers a way to optimize content for tablets. The new MediaEverywhere product reflects a shift away from exclusively offering native solutions, and rather providing a one-size-fits-all-devices approach. “Mobile media is consumed most intensely in applications today, but that pattern is changing to include browser-based experiences,” Gupta said. “MediaEverywhere is a platform our customers are demanding to help them manage the increasingly complex connected device landscape.”

Though not available yet, Gupta says MediaEverywhere will launch later this year with their existing customers first. Gupta says his team is working closely with select customers as they build the product. “In working with hundreds of media companies around the world over the past four years, we have learned how their internal processes work and their needs, which we will align with nicely,” he says.

The new platform aims to centralize the development, maintenance and monetization of native apps and browser-based content. The opportunity to monetize content beyond in-app advertising is a constant concern for publishers, and Gupta says the data provided by MediaEverywhere will help them target advertisements and offers based on consumption. “MediaEverywhere allows publishers to distribute their content to multiple connected devices through one platform and aggregate the data on usage patterns across that network in one place,” he says. “This will allow them to not only enrich their content offering based on the demand shown by users, but also target offerings to users based on their consumption patterns.”

Gupta says the round of funding will allow him to double his team and open offices in New York and London, and will allow them to accelerate the development of MediaEverywhere. He didn’t comment on the product’s pricing model.

 

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.