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THE LOCAL

The Local secures investment for European expansion

The Local will expand into six new markets in Europe this year, supported by 10 million Swedish kronor (€1.1 million) in further financing from existing and new investors, including Sweden's Almi Invest.

The Local publishes news in English online in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland and reaches a monthly audience of almost two million unique visitors.

“We have shown that our formula for attracting and monetising a unique, high value group of readers works in diverse markets,” said Paul Rapacioli, The Local’s founder and managing director.

“But our model is also extremely scalable and this investment will allow us to give our brand a much wider geographical spread over the next twelve months. That’s something our international advertisers have been increasingly keen to see from The Local.”

The Local’s site in Sweden (thelocal.se) has long been the most effective way for Swedish brands to reach foreign professionals in the country. But it is also used by organisations whose target is a hard-to-reach global audience of people who are interested in the country.

In Germany, where The Local launched in 2008, the company runs a news site (thelocal.de) and a community site (toytowngermany.com), with a monthly audience of over a million visitors.

In March 2011 The Local launched thelocal.ch in Switzerland.

“Switzerland is a fantastic opportunity for The Local. A quarter of the country’s population are foreigners, it’s a major tourist destination and so many global companies are based there. We already have a couple of hundred thousand unique visitors on a community site we own in Switzerland, so it was an obvious choice for our news brand,” said Rapacioli.

France, where The Local already has some 20,000 readers per month on its current sites, will be the next market for the company. Four further country sites to be launched this year will be announced in the coming months.

The largest of the new investors is Almi Invest.

“The Local has a very clear and valuable offering to advertisers and a very scalable platform. And at a time when the media world is focusing again on quality content, it is significant that The Local has incredible brand-loyalty among its core audience. Combined with the team’s professionalism and experience, this gives the company the basis to become a very profitable global media brand,” said Åsa Otterlund, Investment Manager at Almi Invest.

Almi Invest enables entrepreneur-driven, early stage companies to grow via regional investment of capital and knowledge alongside other venture capital organisations.

Almi Invest consists of seven regional venture capital funds and is owned by Almi Företagspartner AB and regional investors.

The Local was founded in 2004 by Englishmen Paul Rapacioli and James Savage and is based in Stockholm. The company is owned by the founders, Sjätte AP-fonden, IQube, Almi Invest and private investors.

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THE LOCAL

What The Local’s new design means for you

You may have noticed that The Local looks quite different today. Here’s how our new design makes it easier to get around the site.

What The Local’s new design means for you

After several years with the same design we decided last year that it was high time to give the site a makeover. For one thing we wanted it to look nicer, but most importantly the new design is aimed at making it quicker and easier for you to find what you need without hassle.

You will notice, for example, that the site has a new menu bar that will direct you to the most popular categories. The example below is taken from our France edition but you will find variations on the same menu items on all our country sites. 

You won’t be surprised to learn that we are hoping to retire the Covid-19 category as soon as possible. 

On the desktop version of the site, if you hover your mouse over a category title you will find some of the most important related topics. 

If you click on one of the main categories in the menu bar you will find links to what are currently the most popular related topics. 

On the homepage, each article’s main topic will be displayed above the headline so you can quickly click or tap your way to more articles on that subject. 

You will also find more topics at the bottom of every page that will take you to related articles. 

One significant change is the introduction of a feature that will automatically load up a new article for you once you have got to bottom of the page.

Similarly, articles (like this one) that are not affected by the paywall will show an unlocked padlock. 

If you want to search for a particular topic the search tool is prominently displayed at the top left of the desktop and mobile sites. On desktop it’s just under the dropdown menu you can use to switch editions. 

As a members of The Local you will be able to quickly access your account details and update your newsletter preferences using the buttons in the top right. 

If you are not yet a member you can cast your eyes to the top of the site to see offers that are such good value you will wonder what you’re waiting for. Now really is as good a time as any to join. 

READ ALSO: How The Local’s members are helping us get better

We have also worked hard on significantly speeding up the site, which we hope will make your visits to The Local more enjoyable. 

You are sure to notice plenty of other changes as you get familiar with the new design. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to producing independent journalism that leans heavily on dialogue with our readers. 

With this in mind, we would love to hear from you if you have any feedback on the new design or suggestions for improvements. You can drop us a line at [email protected] or, if you are a member, you will as always be able to let us know what you think in the comments below the article. 

Thanks for reading, and we hope you like the new look! 

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