News media start-up, The Mark News, closes funding

Investors include host of CBC'S The Dragon's Den and former head of eBay Canada

TORONTO, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - The Mark, a new Canadian online daily news magazine, is excited to announce that it has closed its first round of financing from a group of private investors.

The Mark publishes multimedia news commentary written by and featuring a hand-picked community of more than 600 great Canadian thinkers and doers working around the world in politics, business, science, technology, sports and the arts. Media observers have described The Mark as a smarter, Canadian version of the Huffington Post.

The round was led by Innovation Grade Capital, an investment company owned by David Ceolin, former CEO of Digital Cement; Thunder Road Capital, a firm owned by Jordan Banks, former CEO of JumpTV, and former managing director of eBay Canada; and Arlene Dickinson, CEO of Venture Communications and co-host of CBC's The Dragon's Den.

The Mark will use the financing to fund growth.

"We plan to add hundreds of new contributors, expand our multimedia offering, launch a French version, and sign revenue and content distribution partnerships," said Jeff Anders, The Mark's founder and chief executive officer. "The news media landscape in Canada is being redrawn. The opportunities for growth are unlimited."

Jordan Banks added that The Mark's ability to successfully raise money in a tight venture capital market shows that "it has a far more efficient system for creating, producing and delivering content. Its traffic and user base are growing steadily as a result."

Arlene Dickinson sees The Mark as the future of news media.

"Consumers want to engage directly with the people doing the work and making the decisions that ultimately become news. They are increasingly choosing integrated online platforms to watch, listen and read. The Mark will capture audience as these trends accelerate," she said.

David Ceolin, the lead investor, highlights that The Mark is pioneering a new business model for publishing.

"The Mark is building a portfolio of content-based services that have scalable, sustainable revenue potential and don't rely on advertising or subscription," he said.

About The Mark

The Mark is Canada's daily online forum for news commentary and debate. It is founded on the idea that thousands of credible Canadians, here and abroad, have important things to say but cannot reach a national audience. For these Canadians, The Mark is their platform. It publishes high-quality original written, audio and video content for distribution through the web, print, radio, television and live events. The Mark, which is based in Toronto, launched in May 2009. Visit The Mark: www.themarknews.com

For further information: Maria Cortellucci, Marketing Director, mariac@themarknews.com, (647) 347-1339, www.themarknews.com, twitter: @themarknews