The financing is led by Innovation Grade Capital, an investment company owned by former CEO of Digital Cement, David Ceolin, Thunder Road Capital, a firm owned by former CEO of JumpTV and former managing director of eBay Canada Jordan Banks and CEO of Venture Communications and co-host of CBC’s The Dragon’s Den Arlene Dickinson.
The Mark was launched in the Spring of 2009 by Jeff Anders and Ali Rahnema. In a Nov. 2009 article for J-Source, Rahnema referred to the site’s model as “opinion aggregation.” The site aims to draw prominent Canadians to write opinion columns about an area they have expertise in. Writers contribute for free and Rahnema says the people who write for the site “are in the business of getting their ideas out there.”
The new round of financing will be used to “fund growth.” CEO Anders said in the announcement:
“We plan to add hundreds of new contributors, expand our multimedia offering, launch a French version, and sign revenue and content distribution partnerships. The news media landscape in Canada is being redrawn. The opportunities for growth are unlimited.”
Dickinson said of the project:
“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.”