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Journalism graduate receives Google funding for digital start-up

Jeremy Evans' company Explaain has received funding through the Google Digital News Initiative

by Ed Grover (Senior Communications Officer)

Jeremy EvansA journalism graduate has secured funding from Google to help expand the company he launched while at City.

Jeremy Evans has received backing from the Google Digital News Initiative for his business Explaain, which was previously awarded funds through the university’s entrepreneurship support programme CityVentures.

Explaain adds interactive fact boxes to news articles and allows users to find more information on a subject without leaving the webpage they are browsing.

Jeremy, who completed a Broadcast Journalism MA at City in 2013 and is now a Visiting Lecturer on the Interactive Journalism MA, said: “We couldn't be happier to be backed by Google, of all companies. Their vision of organising the world’s information makes them the perfect partner for Explaain, with our mission to make the world more informed.

“The funding means we're able to immediately start turning partner news sites into interactive articles, using our unique system of connected fact cards. This means we can start informing and engaging people in the news straight away.”

Jeremy said City had been key to Explaain's success. The university’s business incubation facility The Launch Lab (formerly The Hangout) has provided mentoring, desk space and a venue to hold events, while Jeremy has also been able to bring in current students to work on the project.

Explaain GIFExplaain received £3,000 and a place on the FastForward (FFWD) accelerator programme through the CityVentures competition CitySpark. The start-up is also part of a consortium led by City that won an EU grant to develop new journalism technology.

Jeremy and co-founder Matt Morley are currently rolling out Explaain to beta partners and will be opening up the service to all publishers in spring 2017. The City alumnus explained the purpose of the technology is to help make people more informed and engaged in the news by providing personalised, interactive and fact-checked content.

“We do this by integrating with news websites to turn their articles into fully interactive experiences,” he said. “Our ecosystem of interactive fact cards augments their existing articles, so that readers choose their own journey through a topic and learn about it without even leaving the page.”

The Google Digital News Initiative provides funding for technology projects across Europe. Its aim is to support high-quality journalism and encourage a more sustainable news ecosystem through technology and innovation.

Explaain allows users to find more information by clicking on highlighted words.

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