Digital native news portal RICE Media made an announcement today that it has secured a six-figure seed funding from an individual investor to grow its journalistic brand across Southeast Asia.
“RICE produces cutting edge cultural journalism with an an Asia focus,” explained Mark Tan, the Co-founder and Editor in Chief of RICE. “Cultural journalism is extremely dynamic and the investment validates the type of content that we have been producing.”
The media venture, which operates out of Singapore, started publishing on ricemedia.co since September 2016. On its website, the media venture describes itself as Asia’s alternative voice, writing news articles and commentaries on topics ranging from sex workers to politician, contemporary art to street food.
Some of its more notable pieces include a prolific article on Singaporean personality Steven Lim, a featured story about a bartender who visited 86 cities without using the plane, and a descriptive article on the nightlife at Lan Kwai Fong.
The startup uses this new model of news which focuses on a niche local content to attract and engage its audience, and within nine months from its inception, has managed to grow its organic reach to over 100,000 unique visitors per month.
This model of focusing on niche content is prevalent in the North America’s media market, looking at companies such as Buzzfeed, Vice, and Refinery 29.
RICE Media is the latest entrant to the digital media space in Southeast Asia, coming at a time when internet-enabled distribution channels have disrupted traditional models of news dissemination and revenue for media outlets.
“We are excited to continue to create more content with an attitude, and to grow the brand across the region,” Tan said.