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The Local secures funds for European expansion

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09:19 CEST+02:00
The Local will expand into six new markets in Europe this year, supported by 10 million kronor ($1.6 million) in further financing from existing and new investors, including Almi Invest.

The Local publishes news in English online in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland and reaches a monthly audience of almost two million unique visitors.

“We have shown that our formula for attracting and monetising a unique, high value group of readers works in diverse markets,” said Paul Rapacioli, The Local's founder and managing director.

“But our model is also extremely scalable and this investment will allow us to give our brand a much wider geographical spread over the next twelve months. That's something our international advertisers have been increasingly keen to see from The Local.”

The Local's site in Sweden (thelocal.se) has long been the most effective way for Swedish brands to reach foreign professionals in the country. But it is also used by organisations whose target is a hard-to-reach global audience of people who are interested in the country.

In Germany, where The Local launched in 2008, the company runs a news site (thelocal.de) and a community site (toytowngermany.com), with a monthly audience of almost a million visitors.

In March 2011 The Local launched thelocal.ch in Switzerland.

“Switzerland is a fantastic opportunity for The Local. A quarter of the country's population are foreigners, it's a major tourist destination and so many global companies are based there. We already have a couple of hundred thousand unique visitors on a community site we own in Switzerland, so it was an obvious choice for our news brand,” said Rapacioli.

France, where The Local already has some 20,000 readers per month on its current sites, will be the next market for the company.

The largest of the new investors is Almi Invest.

“The Local has a very clear and valuable offering to advertisers and a very scalable platform. And at a time when the media world is focusing again on quality content, it is significant that The Local has incredible brand-loyalty among its core audience. Combined with the team's professionalism and experience, this gives the company the basis to become a very profitable global media brand,” Åsa Otterlund, Investment Manager at Almi Invest, said in a statement.

Almi Invest enables entrepreneur-driven, early stage companies to grow via regional investment of capital and knowledge alongside other venture capital organisations.

Almi Invest consists of seven regional venture capital funds and is owned by Almi Företagspartner AB and regional investors.

The Local was founded in 2004 by Rapacioli and fellow Brit James Savage and is based in Stockholm. The company is owned by the founders, Sjätte AP-fonden, IQube, Almi Invest, and a number of private investors.

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