News startup Ongo gets $12M from leading US publishers consortium

Some of the country’s most prominent newspaper companies are investing in a Silicon Valley online news venture called Ongo Inc., but are offering few details about the company. Ongo said Wednesday that the corporate parents of The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today have invested USD 4m each and contributed members to the company’s board. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company says it is building a service for reading and sharing news from different sources that will launch next year at Its founder and CEO, former e-Bay executive Alex Kazim, said Ongo will “reflect the many ways consumers prefer to read, organize and share digital news.” Neither the company nor the publishers would give more specifics about what exactly Ongo will do. Nor is it clear why traditional publishers have taken an interest. They have had an uneven relationship with many of the blogs and websites that post and link to their material online. Just last week, former Washington Post Editor Leonard Downie Jr. referred to news aggregation sites like The Huffington Post as “parasites living off journalism produced by others.”


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