23rd Jan 2012. Diversified news and media firm APN (ASX:APN) has taken a 25% stake in Friendorse following a successful trial of the start-up. Friendorse is a neighbourhood-based community recommendations web service for local businesses.
According to Smartcompany magazine, APN chief development officer Matt Crockett said APN only took a 25% stake in Friendorse because the business itself is unproven. “Friendorse interested us… Social commerce opportunities will increase substantially over the next year to five years and beyond. It’s one of the big trends already playing out. Friendorse is focused on recommendations in the local area. So if someone’s looking for a plumbing service, other people basically recommend that. It takes word-of-mouth and puts a social media spin on it. It enriches our local online media proposition.”
Friendorse is a start-up is backed by Pollenizer, a Sydney-based tech incubator that has co-founded more than 25 online companies, including group buying website Spreets, which was acquired by Yahoo for a reported $40 million last year.
Following on from the investment, APN has also announced a partnership with Pollenizer to fund a 50:50 vehicle for testing digital business models.
“We’ve got a bunch of great media assets, so there are opportunities around social, local and mobile,” said APN chief development officer Matt Crockett. “The best way to pursue that is in partnerships with entrepreneurs. They might come up with an idea, which will go through the Pollenizer [incubation] process, or an ‘intra-preneur’ – someone who works for APN – might come up with idea.”
Pollenizer co-founder Phil Morle said “Since the Spreets deal, we’ve been in a number of talks with companies about corporate innovation. APN showed recognition that entrepreneurs work a certain way.”