Exciting updates from Inside.com

Austin Smith

Loyal readers:

While most of our time is spent sending you news about everything else happening in the world (we delivered 15 million emails packed with news in January!), we like to occasionally take a moment of self-indulgence to peel back the curtain and report some news about our own company to you. After this brief interlude with some announcements and milestones happening at inside.com, we'll be back to our normal programming.
 
Here’s the tl;dr:
  • We Raised $2.6 million to continue growing this newsletter business
  • We ended 2018 with $1.1 million in annualized revenue; more than 300% growth over 2017
  • Today we’re launching 20 newsletters, bringing our total to 50
  • Earlier this month we launched a first-of-its kind ad server that allows brands to run native ads targeting broad demographics like “developers” “tech founders/execs”, “sales”, “high-earning consumers” “people who work in tech”, and lots more. (and if you don't like ads, you can always upgrade to our premium service!)
  • We just passed 750K active subscriptions
 
New newsletters

Here are the newsletters we just launched. If you see one you like, go ahead and subscribe:
 
To see our full roster of newsletters and to vote for the ones we launch next, head over to inside.com
 
Funding

While we had institutional VCs expressing interest in our business, we chose to leverage the new equity crowdfunding rules and take our fundraising round straight to the people who use our product most.

We raised $2.6M from more than 900 investors through seedinvest.com and jasonssyndicate.com. This round was anchored by investments from the SeedInvest Fund and Jason Calacanis, at $250,000 each.
 
This funding round included investments from hundreds of our readers! We are working hard to build a sustainable media business, and are deploying this capital thoughtfully with all focus on delivering a better product, reaching a wider audience, and driving the revenue we need to sustain it all.
 
This year we are going to be very focused on improving the quality of our newsletters, and we're always open to any and all feedback.
 
Ad server

Like podcasts, most email newsletters offer one option: pay to reach the entire audience, or none of it. Given we have 50 different newsletters and work with a wide array of advertisers, we wanted to offer something better, so we built it. 
 
Through surveys, newsletter subscriptions, and help from tools like Clearbit, we have a broad understanding of who our readers are -- job function/role, industry, broad interests, and rough location. Creating segments based on these characteristics, we can serve ads dynamically in the newsletters only to the readers a sponsor wants to reach.
 
So, a developer-facing company can run ads across all of our newsletters targeted only at developers. An HR SaaS platform can target founders and HR execs. A consumer startup that has only launched in SF and LA can show ads only to readers in those cities.

We have no intention to ever offer “what you had for lunch yesterday” level granularity of ad targeting, and we don’t need to. The level of engagement our readers have with these newsletters blended with broad audience segmentation delivers exactly what our advertisers need.
 
We really do make an effort to only work with sponsors who we think our readers will appreciate hearing from, and a great way to support our newsletters is to click the ads and see what our sponsors have to offer.
 
Learn more about how this works: inside.com/sponsorship
 
And in closing…
 
When we send updates to our investors, we make a habit of including a “how you can help” section. Of course, this update is going to a much wider audience than just our investors, but we still thought it was worth including some ways for people to support the work our team does on these newsletters each day.

So, if you want to help, here’s how you can do it.
  1. Tell your friends about Inside: Hit reply to this email, add four friends to the CC line, and write a line or two explaining why you like inside.com!
  2. Tell us how we can improve: Hit reply and send some feedback on the Inside newsletters and what we can do better. Or better yet, hit reply to the newsletters from time to time. We love to hear from readers.
  3. Sponsor the newsletters: We have tons of sophisticated readers (like you!) and offer a range of ways to reach them. Visit inside.com/sponsorship, and send it to your marketing team
  4. Help us find writers: If you or anyone you know is talented writer and an expert on one of the topics we cover, send an intro to kelly@inside.com
  5. Take a moment to check out the sponsor messages in our newsletters, it makes a big difference. Or, if you don't like ads, upgrade to Inside Premium -- get an ad-free Inside experience as well as more, deeper content.
 
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading.
 
Austin Smith
President, Inside.com
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