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How This Company Is Disrupting Content Consumption

The co-founder and CEO of Listory shares how his content app makes online time more meaningful.

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If you’re looking to learn something new when you go online, or you want to feel happier, Yaniv Gilad's app Listory can help. As co-founder and CEO, Gilad says his team wanted to create a content refinery that filters the Internet into a short list of stories that perfectly fits their users. Lanched in March 2020, the company recently announced a $4-million seed round led by Viola Ventures, Globis Capital and Rhodium. Gilad spoke with Jessica Abo to share how the content app works and his number-one tip for entrepreneurs who are about to start fundraising.

Jessica Abo: Yaniv, why did you create Listory?

Yaniv Gilad: We started Listory because we wanted to build our dream app for discovering, consuming, and collecting the stories that we love. We envisioned a smarter content feed, one powered by people, real humans, who are passionate about finding, curating and recommending the most important stories in the field that they are experts in.

Listory is an opinionated, mission-driven content app. It aims to help you become smarter and happier through the content you read, watch and listen to online. And we do it in two main ways. One, we refined the web into a finite list of stories relevant and interesting to you. We follow experts, curators, thought leaders in various fields, and we take those stories that were recommended by many of them. So, we recommend stories that were curated by humans, not algorithms.

The second thing that we do is give you tools to develop better and healthier content consumption habits. And the goal is to help you enjoy the content. Read, watch, listen to stories, rather than swipe through them. Because we believe that one great article can be much more enriching to your brain than spending hours browsing through an endless feed.

To improve the recommendations or to further refine those stories you see, you can follow other users, other curators and experts. Unlike other social networks where the more people you follow, the more noise you’ll see in your feed, in Listory, it’s actually the opposite. The more people you follow, the stronger the signal we have on the stories that matter to you. We’ll look at the stories that were recommended by many of the people you follow and not all the stories that everyone who you follow read or shared.

Lastly, we help you actually become a curator yourself. If you find a great story, if you watch an inspiring video, you can collect them into Listory and curate them into a list that you can turn public or private. By sharing those or making them public, you can inspire others through the content that you’ve consumed.

What is the Listory Challenge?

Gilad: The Listory Challenge is a daily bet with our users. The first story that you see in the “For You” screen is going to be the best story you read that day. This is the bet. If we win, you commit mentally to come back the next day and take the challenge again. If we lose, you can submit the better story that you consumed that day and you will get a credit that you can then redeem towards a newspaper or a newsletter subscription.

You just raised a round of 4 million dollars. Do you have advice for other entrepreneurs out there who are about to start fundraising?

Gilad: So, let’s say you are about to raise $1 million for your startup. Set a lower minimum on the round. Let’s say half a million dollars. When you have a lower minimum, it will be easier and faster to achieve the commitments for that lower minimum. And the magic is that once you hit that minimum with commitments, it will become so much easier to get commitments from more investors and actually reach your original goal for the round and maybe even exceed it.

Investors are driven by FOMO and scarcity, so when they see that you’ve reached your minimum for the round, that you can close the round without them, that you have demand, then their state of mind shifts and they think of how they can be part of this opportunity and not miss out. 

Related: How This Entrepreneur Is Bringing Broadway Stars Into Your Living Room

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