Guide raises $1m to create a video news channel of websites read by avatars, now in private alpha

By Ken Yeung

Newsreader app Guide has announced that it raised $1 million in seed funding from several investors, including Sapient Corporation, the Knight Foundation, actor and producer Omar Epps, founder of MTV Bob Pitman, Google’s Steve Schimmel, the Hartman Trust, WAM LLC, Drew Lauter, and Jason Sanders. With the investment, the company says that it will be focus on sprucing up its product while also protecting its intellectual property.

With this round of investment, Guide has attracted a group of individuals who have an interest in new technology and/or journalism. With Pitman, the company gains a resource who understands the television industry and video; Schimmel is employee #13 at Google; Omar Epps is a famous actor and producer who understands video and the entertainment space; and the Knight Foundation, a funder of journalism and media innovation is offering funds through its Knight Enterprise Fund for early-stage companies.

Ben Wirz, the Knight Foundation’s director of business consulting, says that “Guide is launching a fun, new engaging format for online news that gives all publishers, from bloggers to large news companies, the ability to offer their audiences a video experience.”

Founded in 2012, Guide takes any of your online news, blogs, and social streams and turns it into a video that you can watch when you don’t have time to read. In some way, it’s similar to news aggregators like Summly,ClippedCirca, and Flipboard, but it places more focus on the news. The company believes that video has always been the big thing in news and there are often situations where people just want a visual and auditory solution to get content they want in a digestible manner.



About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit