Founder's Perspective: What this Milestone Means for NewsCred
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Founder’s Perspective: What this Milestone Means for NewsCred

by Shafqat Islam

5 minute read

Editors note: In July 2020, Industry Dive acquired NewsCred’s content marketing services (content studio, licensed content marketplace, and content hub services). NewsCred retained its software products. This is our CEO’s perspective on the sale and what it means for the business. To learn more about the transaction, read the official press release here.


I always found it strange when people asked me the question “What’s your exit strategy?” We never started NewsCred to get out of it. In fact, my co-founders and I often used the expression “Let’s build an enduring, profitable company of real consequence.” To me, that kind of consequential company could take a lifetime to build. And I know for many of our supporters, especially family members, the last twelve years must have felt like a lifetime! That’s why I’m really proud to share that we have reached an exciting milestone in our journey today: we’re announcing the sale of our Content Studio, Marketplace and associated services business. NewsCred will retain its software products, and continue as an independent company entirely focused on our Content Marketing Platform (CMP) and Marketing Orchestration technology. But more on that in a bit.

First, I wanted to explain simply what’s happening, since divestitures are not that common. We’ve been operating as two separate lines of business (LOBs) for a while now. We had our Content LOB and our Software LOB. Over the years, we realized that our customers actually fit quite neatly into these two categories. Our Content LOB customers came to us because they valued our Content Studio (original content) and Marketplace (licensed content), or our marketing services. While all of these customers used and paid for the CMP, it was not their primary value. We also had a huge cohort of customers in our Software LOB who exclusively purchased our software, and standardized their marketing teams on our software.

A little over two years ago, we built a long-term (3-year) strategy to spin out the Content LOB as a separate company, so that both sides of the business got the right focus and investment. It turns out that with the right strategy, you can almost will it into existence. Like clockwork, not only did we spin it out, but we also found an amazing company and financial sponsor to acquire (and grow) this asset. As part of this sale, roughly 40 amazing employees will be moving over to Industry Dive (ID), and all of the customers in our Content LOB will become customers of ID. For those of you not familiar with ID, it’s because they are humble and understated (much like their CEO, Sean). But they are an incredible company. And to Sean, the Industry Dive team and Falfurrius Capital Partners, thank you for your belief and for persevering and getting a deal done in the middle of a pandemic!

To our employees moving over, thank you for everything you did to help build NewsCred into the company it is today. Your fingerprints are all over our business, and we could never have executed on our strategy without your tireless efforts. I’m so excited to see the business thrive and flourish at Industry Dive. We are so proud of you, and we will do everything humanly possible to make our software business a huge success so that we can make you proud of us. Under the guidance and leadership of Jane (who will be moving to ID to run this LOB as a standalone business unit) and Sean, you are in incredibly good hands.

To our content customers, thank you for believing in us from the early days. We built a category together, and it’s been such an honor to partner with you. We always gave it everything we had to make you successful, and you stood by us (mostly through the ups, but also some downs). I am so excited to see how all the resources and opportunities at ID will help take your content marketing programs to the next level. Of course, we are not going anywhere, and look forward to continuing to support you with your CMP needs. As part of the deal, I made sure that your team stayed intact, and I’m so happy that every single person at NewsCred (and all the new Divers) are being retained. So nothing will change except for the better!

To our software customers, this journey continues. Our software business was growing incredibly fast, and that rocket ship just got a lot of additional fuel! We will be investing tens of millions of dollars to execute on our vision to build the Marketing Orchestration Platform of the future. We’ve already been the 3- time leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CMPs. But our vision is bigger and bolder. We are also winning in the Marketing Resource Management (MRM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) categories.

Our belief is simple: if you can (thoughtfully) combine the best of these capabilities, you give marketers something they’ve never had before — a real chance to transform how they work through integrated, modern & purpose-built software. Specifically, by harmonizing marketing teams, the content they create, the channels they activate, the data they analyze and the technology that powers it all, you empower them to truly orchestrate marketing, and deliver amazing results.

We’re excited about increasing our investments in R&D, and continuing to build out a world-class product  as well as a fiercely intelligent and hard- working team. Some of the biggest companies in the world run their marketing teams on our software, and we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for some big announcements over the next few months…

Finally, to the NewsCred team, past and present, it’s been the greatest privilege of my life working for you. Thank you for the opportunity.

-Shafqat