BetaKit, once a leading source of startup news in Canada, has been resurrected as a standalone brand after it was folded into the Financial Post earlier this year.
The Canadian mobile news site Mobile Syrup announced Monday it has acquired BetaKit from Postmedia for an undisclosed sum. On Monday the company also re-launched BetaKit.com. As part of the deal, Mobile Syrup founder Ian Hardy acquired rights to the BetaKit brand, its URL, various social media accounts and some of its back catalogue of content. BetaKit Insights, the short-lived trend report for marketers and ad agencies BetaKit published prior to folding, however, was not included in the acquisition.
In March former Financial Post publisher Douglas Kelly said Postmedia was still unsure what it was doing with BetaKit Insights.
Hardy said new BetaKit will report on startups and emerging technology as it did under Postmedia, though he plans to sharpen the publication’s focus to covering specifically Canadian companies.
Citing new incubator programs aimed at helping young tech businesses across Canada, including Grow Labs in Vancouver, Montreal’s Founder Fuel and Launch 36 in Eastern Canada, Hardy said there is a huge opportunity to report on Canada’s rapidly expanding startup community.
“There’s so many amazing companies and people doing amazing things and their stories really need to be told. That’s my hope for BetaKit, to give them a place for their hard work to be showcased,” he said.
Initially the re-launched BetaKit will have very few ads, though Hardy said he eventually plans to sell ad space to banks and automotive brands that want to associate themselves with innovation and technology as well as startups advertising their services.
Launched in February 2012, BetaKit was a subsidiary of Sprouter, a site that connected startup founders with established entrepreneurs, which also struggled financially and briefly went out of business in 2011 prior to its acquisition by Postmedia. As a source of startup news, BetaKit was widely read but failed to make enough revenue for Postmedia to maintain both it and the similar FP Startups arm of the Financial Post.
A representative of Postmedia said, “In the early spring Postmedia had made the decision to move BetaKit into our existing FP Startups site. Soon after we were approached by Mobile Syrup with interest in the brand. It’s a great fit for them and we and we wish them the best of luck with BetaKit.”
Hardy has run Mobile Syrup as an independent publication since 2008 and believes he can turn BetaKit into a viable business by maintaining a small, nimble team and focusing on a specific space.
“It will be a fun ride. I think it’s an amazing brand and I think the [startup] community will embrace it. It will be exciting to see what comes of it,” he said.