Friday, September 22, 2023

STARTUP DAILY TV: Media startup Ukufu, the ‘Spotify of news content’, is gaining momentum

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.
Sydney media startup Ukufu, an AI-powered news content aggregator, is booming with more than 50,000 users downloading Android to stay on top of what’s happening in the world.

Founded in 2019 by Kevin Garber, whose previous startup was Twitter management platform Manageflitter, Ukufu (pronounced oo-koo-foo) was inspired by Spotify, how it simplifies the music and Podcast experience, to create something similar for news .

“We then took a ‘first principles’ approach to create a ‘Spotify for news content’. Ukufu allows users to build their own uncluttered news feed, removing the inefficiency of visiting multiple destination websites and apps. Ukufu also offers an alternative to using social media, with all its distractions, to discover news content,” he said.

“Ukufu users build their own news feed by selecting the topics they want to follow, with our AI then taking care of the news content within the topics. The news articles are selected from nearly 1000 pre-qualified sources.”

‘Ukufu’ is a variation of the Zulu word ‘Ukufunda’, which means to learn, and Garber is on a fast learning curve alongside his users. The company took start-up financing from local angel investors, and now has a global team of eight in Australia, Indonesia and Nepal.

“Going beyond 50,000 Android installs of Ukufu is an exciting milestone for our team, users and investors,” he said.

“This achievement is another step for us towards the goal of building a sustainable business around our product. Content remains king of the web, and any well-executed product that helps simplify content for users has a shot at success – hopefully including Ukufu.”

Part of the appeal of Ukufu is ccontent organization and sharing features.

“Users can share an article anywhere on the web, or even a post on social media, directly to one of their Ukufu folders for later use,” Garber says.

“This solves the problem of collecting social media saved posts across all different social media platforms – a frustrating scenario when you’re trying to find that useful social media saved post from a few weeks back!”

Garber is now turning his attention to launching a premium version and a customizable B2B version, as well as focusing on Ukufu’s relationships with publishers.

“We hope to make a positive contribution to the ongoing reinvention of the traditional media industry by providing media organizations with access to new markets and opportunities to monetize their content in new ways,” he said.

Ukufu is available for iOS, Android and web at

Startup Daily editor Simon Thomsen spoke to Ukufu founder Kevin Garber on the Startup Daily show about the rollout.

Click on the link below to listen to the interview.

You can run in the Startup Daily show every weekday from 14-14:40 the latest technology and startup news.

If you can’t make it, you can always catch up on request what our guests had to say via the Australia Place. It’s free once you sign up.

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