Media company Content Central offers an online service that connects journalists and editors for the sale and distribution of articles and news. Now the company has raised 8.7 MSEK from investors.

Since the autumn of 2014, Content Central has helped media houses and freelance journalists in Sweden sell and distribute editorial content. Over 3,000 freelance journalists, writers and photographers are connected to the service and have uploaded thousands of articles, crosswords and images for sale.

Operations are run through the company Syndigate AB, which has now raised 8.7 MSEK in venture capital. Fort Knox and Partnerinvest Norr have contributed 7 MSEK through a new share issue. In addition, the Silicon Valley based VC company 500 Startups has converted a previously provided convertible loan of 1.7 MSEK to shares.

"We are very pleased to finish this round, which we have been working on for about ten months. Getting Fort Knox and Partnerinvest on board as local investors is great. They have financial muscle, good skills and important contact networks, but most importantly we will be able to work closely with each other, which is important in the phase we are in. In addition, it feels really exciting to add 500 Startups to our ownership circle, which can give us valuable connections internationally", says Joachim Ljungquist, founder and CEO.

The media industry is undergoing considerable restructuring, with more than 50 percent of the world's journalists now working on a freelance basis. Content Central is a platform that simplifies distribution, rights and payment of editorial content.

"We have had a dialogue about an investment in Content Central for a long time, and it's great to be able to move forward. The company has an interesting business solution, which can be an important piece of the puzzle in the media industry's transformation right now. In addition, platform economy is becoming an increasingly important business model", says Henrik Wimelius, Investment Manager for Digital Business Concept at Fort Knox.

Right now, the next generation of the online platform is under development, using brand new technology – and preparations are in full swing for a UK launch.

"I have had the privilege of following the company since its inception and I can really see the potential of launching on the English-speaking market, which is bigger than the Swedish one. Because of Content Central's international ambition, we want to be a part of their journey", says Lena Fridlund Forsgren, Investment Manager at Partnerinvest Norr.

The investment will be used to increase resources for the development team and for launching in new markets. This spring, the company has grown from four to eight employees.

Content Central is currently in London, exhibiting at the PPA Festival 2017 magazine industry. PPA stands for the Professional Publishers Association and is the UK's largest industry organisation for publishers. The PPA Festival is an annual event with hundreds of lecturers and nearly a thousand publishers.

"This is really the right forum in which to be networking and establishing new contacts in the media industry. In addition, Content Central has now been accepted as a member in the PPA, which further opens up a way into the industry when we enter the UK market", says Joachim Ljungquist, CEO and founder of Content Central.

The trip also included Peter Bäckström of Uminova Innovation and EEN (Enterprise Europe Network), who helped with contacts in London, primarily those relevant to the UK launch.

"It is important for us to help start-ups and companies in Västerbotten who want to expand to the major markets in Europe. Here in London, in addition to the festival, we visited our contacts at EEN in London, looked at the co-working office at Google Campus London, and met with strategic advisors in the media industry", says Peter Bäckström.

This is Content Central's fifth trip to London in order to build a network of contacts and promote its service. This time the company received financial contributions towards travel and festival costs from Invest in Västerbotten (IVB).

"It is incredibly important to meet the market and adapt our services, as well as the business model, based on what the conditions look like. Britain differs a lot from Sweden, mostly in ways that will be beneficial to us compared to the Swedish market. On the other hand, our network of contacts is more limited and we need to learn how business culture works here", says Joachim Ljungquist.

Content Central has recently doubled its team and now consists of eight members of staff plus a contractor. At the moment, the company is working on the development of the next generation platform, which will be launched this autumn.


Content Central doubles its team by going from four to eight employees. The online platform that links freelance journalists and editors will now be launched on a wider scale.

Since autumn 2014, Content Central has linked freelance journalists and editors for the sale and distribution of articles. Over 2800 freelance journalists, writers and photographers are connected to the service and have uploaded thousands of articles and pictures for sale.

"In a short period of time, the media world has changed – with over fifty percent of the world's journalists currently working on a freelance basis. Therefore, smart tools are needed to facilitate distribution, rights and payment of editorial materials", says Joachim Ljungquist, CEO and founder of Content Central.

New employees are Thomas Hedlund, Marie Johansson, Sara Solaiman and Karl Lindfors. They are based in Umeå, except for Thomas who will work in Stockholm.

"Stockholm is Sweden's media hub, where most editors and publishers, in addition to local newspapers, are based. My role as a customer service editor will be to work close to the market and help new media clients get started with the service", says Thomas Hedlund.

Thomas Hedlund has a long experience as a freelance journalist. He has also worked as a journalist and an editor for both Swedish and international media.

Marie Johansson has recently returned to Sweden from Britain, where she has lived for twelve years. She has a background at Sony Computer Entertainment, as a freelance translator and proofreader, as well as working with social media.

Sara Solaiman has lived in the United States for 16 years, where she achieved a bachelor degree in journalism. She worked as a television commercial producer in Indonesia, but came to Sweden two years ago, and worked with video production and social media at Humlab at Umeå University.

Both Marie and Sara are Content Managers. They will be responsible as editors, as well as working with marketing and social media.

Karl Lindfors has recently completed a C#/ASP.NET course and is now working as a developer in the IT team.

In addition to these four, the development team has also been strengthened with a trainee developer and a contractor.

"We have tested the market with a slim team and finally have the opportunity to scale up, focus and develop both our service and our business. Both the development team and sales team now get a much-needed boost with the international experience needed to take the company into new markets", says Joachim Ljungquist.

Over 2,000 new users from 112 countries. Content Central's international launch of a web service for freelance journalists has become a huge success. And it's just the beginning.

At the start of autumn, Content Central soft launched its international platform for freelance journalists who want to sell their material to newspapers and the media. The focus is mainly on reaching freelance journalists and writers in Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

The result was well beyond expectations. At the time of writing, 2,000 journalists from 112 countries have joined the service.

"Users have signed up from countries we have barely even heard of. And we get up to 80 new users signing up every day", says Joachim Ljungqvist, founder and CEO of Content Central. "Right now I'm in London to meet publishers and freelancers to better understand what they need in their daily work", he continues.

According to Ljungqvist, there are nearly 600,000 journalists in the world. Half of them work on a freelance basis, a figure he believes will continue to increase. Content Central now wants to offer all freelance journalists a platform where they can sell their articles to the media in an efficient way.

The online platform in Swedish has had great success in Sweden, and investors have got their eye on Content Central. In August, the super-sized US venture capital company 500 Startups invested 1.7 MSEK in this Umeå company, and the goal is to bring in a total of 10 MSEK from investors.

"So far, it appears that we have received almost half of our goal, and we are currently working on getting the rest. The capital will be used to double the team, complete version two of our platform and give us an eighteen-month runway", explains Joachim Ljungqvist.

The next step is a full-scale international launch at the end of the year. By then, Content Central expects that there will be enough journalists and material on the site to be able to let in media houses and editors from the English-speaking world.

Passive income as a freelance writer

The best way to earn more as a freelance journalist/writer is to sell your articles multiple times! At Content Central you can either sell previously sold articles, or sell articles that have not yet been published.
At the moment, relatively "timeless" feature articles (evergreen) are best to submit. We are focusing on articles that can attract as many potential publishers as possible – and we know that offering content with longer lifespan has proven to be successful. Magazines consist mainly of feature content and newspapers can consist of up to 30-40 % of feature content, so there is a big market out there.
We are now expanding the number of categories/topics where you can upload content.

Examples and possible topics:

Movies
•    Who was Ingmar Bergman?
•    Film Noir – Cynicism, Corruption and Murder
•    The Life at Work for a Stuntman / Makeup Artist / Costume Maker
•    Anime – Japanese Animated Film
•    Action! How it works behind the Cameras

Music
•    Portraits of current bands / artists / composers / songwriters
•    When the Punk Music was Born
•    Odd Music Instrument
•    Dementia People Becomes Healthier by Listening to Music
•    How Much has Spotify Affected the Music Industry?
•    Music That has Really Changed the World

Literature
•    Portraits of authors
•    How to be a Better Writer?
•    Test: Which Literary Protagonist are You?
•    This is How Hemingway Would Write if he Lived in the 2000s
•    How to Become a Bestseller - Five Authors Reveals their Secrets
•    Computers, Tablets and Books – How do they Affect Children's Learning?
•    Five Audio Books to Download for Your Next Holiday
•    Amazon - the publishers enemy, but readers' friend?

Games
•    Trends in the gaming industry
•    Board games that we remember
•    Pacman and other cult game
•    Computer games - do they affect us?
•    How will games be controlled in the near future?
•    The Swedish gaming wonders - meet Mojängs and Kings of Candy

Personal Finance
•    How to save money for your dream holiday
•    Find the best mortgage for you
•    Consumer rights- stronger than you think
•    Who is on the bill? About the "people" you have in your wallet
•    Ten tips to significantly improve your personal finances

Science & Research
•    Ten myths about sleep
•    Famous scientists and their discoveries
•    Potions that cures colds
•    Major advances in cancer research
•    How Emma survived a heart attack
•    Bill Gates and the challenge to eradicate polio

Politics
•    Super election year of 2016
•    Portraits of politicians
•    EU - how does it actually works?
•    Voting - a democratic duty?
•    Analysis of Europe's shift to the right
•    To live in a dictatorship
•    A year of Brexit and Triumph

Environment & Climate
•    Global warming - what is happening?
•    FEnergy sources of the future
•    Auroras, rainbows and cyclones
•    Our most common cloud types
•    How many wind turbines are needed to replace a nuclear power plant
•    Simple ways for your family to reduce your environmental impact
•    If all cars in the U.S. was clean cars ...
•    Coal, oil and alternatives
•    Be climate clever
•    How to proerly dispose your trash

Business & Work
•    Different and exciting professions
•    How to write a CV
•    Antibullying workplace
•    Why women are good board members
•    Do you dare to start your own business?
•    How to get more paid from your work
•    This is what successful companies have in common
•    Sure, you can combine your family life and career ambitions
•    Statistics from the Social Insurance during the World Cup and the Olympics the last 10 years
•    The most dangerous occupations

Food & drinks
•    How to become a grill master
•    Burger - from fast food restaurant to fine dining
•    Odd food from around the world
•    Organize a wine tasting


TECH

Photography
•    5 best apps for photography geeks
•    Test: Which camera phone is the best?
•    Succeed with your holiday photos
•    How to become better at filming
•    Photo Trends of tomorrow
•    The most famous photographers of the history
•    Hasselblad, space travels and beyond
 
IT, Computers & Gadgets
•    Are you safe while surfing the internet?
•    Best innovations of 2016
•    TOR - the truly free network
•    Top tips for your next computer purchase
•    Johanna lost her gambling addiction
•    All you need to know about Bitcoin
•    Privacy online vs. Facebook and social media
 
Motor & Cars
•    All about eco-driving
•    Extreme Motor Sports
•    Formula 1 – yesterday, today and tomorrow
•    The future of the electric car


LIFESTYLE

Travels
•    Travel Reports
•    Tourism in your immediate environment
•    10 tips to make your trip easier
•    Adventure Holidays
•    How luxurious is actually a cruise?
•    Around the World in 8 months
•    Travel advice for introverted people
•    Environmentally conscious holiday: Eco-tourism

Fashion
•    The hottest colors for this Autumn
•    Famous fashion designers
•    Classics in the fashion world
•    Retro Style - How to modernize your old garments
•    Second hand - It's here to stay
•    The bikini - the naked history
•    Super Models with hungry eyes
•    Fashion Trends - Who actually creates them?
•    From bloomers to thong


Children & youth
•    Children’s rights – Convention on the Rights of the Child
•    Bullying – how do you to prevent it?
•    Children’s life in other countries
•    Toys then vs now
•    How to get rid of acne
•    10 best books for teens
•    Should you give your child an allowance?
•    When your best friend leaves you
•    Outdoor games vs computer games
•    Improve your online security

Beauty and well being
•    The best party hairstyles
•    The best hair trends for spring
•    Beard trends
•    Mindfulness and stress management
•    Best Homemade face masks
•    5 different types of massage
•    Cosmetic surgery trends
•    How to quit smoking
•    Visit a spa – A nice break from reality
•    How to get nice nails
•    Can you treat hair loss?
•    Beauty ideals through the ages

Family, love & relationships
•    Why couples break up after vacation
•    Is wife swapping the new trend?
•    Improve your online dating skills
•    Why you should have a summer fling
•    Coping with a breakup or divorce
•    Voluntary and involuntary aspects of childlessness
•    How to help someone being bullied
•    How to cope when your loved one is ill
•    My best friends – 3 friends share stories about their friendship
•    Natural ways to boost your libido
•    How to create equality in your relationship


HOUSE & HOME

Do-it-yourself (DIY)
•    How to build a Gazebo
•    Easy ways to bring some order to your hallway
•    Last minute tips for making a messy house seem cleaner
•    Know your stuff, the best DIY tips
•    Complete guide to planning permission
•    How to build your own home
•    Preparing your cottage for winter
•    Insurance tips for homeowners
•    Should I hire a real estate agent to sell my home?
•    Before you hire a home repair handyman
•    How to prevent water damage

Interior design
•    How to paint your house's interior
•    Cool smart home innovations
•    Wallpaper winter trends
•    How to build a gallery wall
•    ABCs of beautiful light
•    Decoration ideas for a cool kids room
•    How to hack and repurpose thrift store finds

Gardening
•    How to get and maintain a healthy lawn
•    English garden design ideas
•    Ho to grow your own produce
•    Effective tips for weed control
•    Caring for your outdoor furniture
•    All season flower gardens
•    Tips for a beautiful balcony garden
•    Top garden trends
•    Tips for preventing garden pests
•    How to prune your fruit trees


SPORTS AND RECREATION

Workout & fitness
•    Why summer makes us lazy – get back into shape!
•    Six-pack abs in six weeks
•    10 ways to boost your endurance and stamina
•    Olympic medals per capita
•    Weird and unusual sports around the world
•    How to reduce muscle soreness
•    Yoga for the body and mind
•    Work out smarter

Hobby & leisure
•    Is stamp collecting dead?
•    How to crochet a christmas decoration
•    Do we have more or less free time than we had 20 years ago?
•    Bingo – not only for senior citizens

Animals & nature
•    Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate
•    Me and my pet
•    Exotic pets
•    The purpose of species
•    Heroic animals
•    How to maintain an aquarium

Miscellaneous
•    Religion
•    Dreams
•    Astrology
•    Famous crimes
•    Tattoos
•    The art of being right – rhetorics
•    Customs and traditions
•    Did you know
•    Future amendments
•    World records

 

Have you have written some articles similar to these headlines? Check your archives, submit your articles and sell them again.

 

Hello brave freelancer! Great that you have found us!

Today (Friday, August 12th, 2016) is our international launch day. You might find some funny expressions, bad translations and perhaps not always the best lingo.
For all of that, we give credit to our Swedish development team ;)

Content Central has been up and running in Sweden for two years, with almost 3000 users and lots of sold articles. But hey, Sweden is a small country and we want to help freelancers all over the world to make more money out of their articles. So, just a couple of weeks ago, we started to modify our platform to be able to expand into new markets – and of course in English.

To us, it has been more important to check that everything is working, rather than having all text and information 100% correct.

BUT, this will change during the next couple of weeks – so please, bear with us!

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Just send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Have a great day!


Team Content Central

33 listan VINNARE

THE 33 LIST. For the eighth consecutive year, the business magazines Ny Teknik (New Technology) and Affärsvärlden (Business World) named Sweden's 33 most promising young technology companies. The criteria for inclusion on the list is that the company is up to seven years old  and that it is based on a technological innovation with international potential.

Another important criteria is that the company wants to change the rules of the game in their industry. It can also be about creating a whole new market.


This is what Ny Teknik write about Content Central:
Newspapers around the world are cutting back, but still need content to fill their pages. To get that balance in the equation, the Umeå-based company Syndigate developed a web-based service that brings together freelance journalists and various media outlets.

In a short time the company Syndigate, with the platform Content Central, has been widely adopted and is already used by more than 1.100 freelance journalists, writers and photographers who thus can sell their editorial content more effectively.

- Now we are aiming at international expansion, primarily towards Great Britain and the English speaking markets, says the company's CEO Joachim Ljungquist .

Syndigate secured its place on the 33-list by winning the jury vote at the regional finals.
The award ceremony took place in Stockholm on Münchenbryggeriet Wednesday, April 14.

Logo CC Facebook

A lot is happening at Content Central in parallel to the daily delivery of quality editorial content . As the Content Central expanded and developed its services we change now to a new and improved logo.

- The business is more diverse now and we want that to be reflected in the symbol that represents us, says Joachim Ljungquist, CEO and founder of Content Central.

The new logo can be interpreted in many different ways and can be associated with everything from a newspaper or a laptop, networking or a palette of activity.

- The beauty of the new logo is precisely that it can account for as much as Content Central allows  a variety of content - and content diversity.

Content Central will soon launch several new features and services.


In addition to that the symbol in the middle is a "C", there are other interpretations. Some of the associations that came up at our branding workshops about the new logo:

  • Laptop - Content Central is available around the clock, every day of the year in your laptop or mobile - a platform you can reach whenever you need to.
  • Magazine / Book - Content Central conveys quality editorial content for print and the web. The pulped newspaper midfield gives a feeling that the content is read and is taken seriously.
  • Different fields - Content Central is available in several different areas, all of which form a whole. There are building blocks, that together form something complete.
  • Green - Content Central's new, fresh and natural way to work - a stable, friendly and successful partnership. The colors of fresh air and mint. The color scheme also goes towards health and wellness.
  • Different shades - Content Central is a palette of smart services that facilitate your everyday life, a variety of content and contributors with different expertise, knowledge and background.
  • Networking - These "mouths" speak to each other, shows the networking possibilities.

The news agency Content Central takes the fight against the giants of traditional news agents and syndicates. Besides offering ready-to-publish editorial quality content as articles and reviews from freelance journalists, publishers can now buy crosswords and sudokus from Content Central.

The concept is simple: the content providers (freelance journalists, photographers and others) upload their content for sale at Content Central. They decide who can buy and publish the content, the price and other terms. Media outlets can then, with just a touch of a button, buy and download content for immediate publication. And now the range has grown, with both crosswords and sudokus.

- It feels great to also able to offer crosswords and sudoku of varying difficulty to our buyers. Whether you need to supplement to existing providers with single purchases or a constant flow of articles and other content, it's easy to find great content with us, says Joachim Ljungquist, CEO and founder.

ContentCentral has been offering editorial content to publishers since 2014. It is primarily feature articles, entertainment, culture, travel articles, recipes, etc. Many different content providers can contribute articles on the same topics, Content Central also offer diversity and choice.

- More voices can be heard, giving publishers the opportunity to choose the material that suits their own publication best on the basis, angle, length, tonality and different types of specialist knowledge of the content providers. That - combined with our open business model that welcomes all types of media outlets - makes Content Central a player to be reckoned with, says Joachim Ljungquist.

Content Central is a marketplace for editorial content. The service has at this time about 1100 affiliated freelance journalists, subject experts, writers and photographers.

We have launched the first version of the "extended profile", which is inspired by LinkedIn. The aim is that you, as a freelance journalist, will be able to highlight your skills and your experience. That way publishers can easier find the right freelancer for a specific assignment.

In addition, a complete profile also increases your credibility when it comes to the selling your existing articles at Content Central. By having articles submitted for sale, they will also work as a portfolio of your writing skills and style.

We will launch additional services like pitch & brief – new tools to help you get new freelance work. 
Below is an example of how an extended profile looks like. You can complete your profile by going to the menu "User" -> "Edit Profile" and then select the "Profile".

 

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