Home Circa Could Become Big Media’s Bet On Wearable News

Circa Could Become Big Media’s Bet On Wearable News

Circa: From smartwatch to smartphone to Web.

Circa is seeking a buyer after failing to raise a new round of venture capital funding, Fortune reports. It sounds like 2015 is going to be a make-or-break year for the pioneering mobile news app, which first appeared nearly three years ago.

Circa delivers bite-sized nuggets of breaking news on mobile devices which can then be followed in more depth on the Web. In many ways it anticipated the era of the smartwatch, where “glanceable” snippets arrive to lead users into more detail on subjects that interest them.

See also: Circa’s Matt Gilligan On The Future Of Wearable News

It’s mobile first in a way that most big media outlets aren’t, even if they have smartphone and wearable apps to their name. Its approach has never made more sense than it does in the era of the Apple Watch and its ilk.

Whoever buys Circa to make use of its technologies has a ready-made head start in the wearable race—something that certainly should interest major publishers. Remember, Yahoo was willing to pay handsomely for a news summary tool of its own, spending $30 million on Summly a couple of years ago.

Circa has amassed more than $5 million in angel and seed funding since its October 2012 launch. It offers dedicated apps for iOS and Android, complete with Apple Watch and Android Wear support.

Wearable Screens

Circa CEO Matt Galligan (photo by Dave Morin, used with permission).

A smartwatch screen is not just smaller than a smartphone display, it’s used in a completely different way—a point Circa CEO Matt Galligan made to us as part of his Wearable World Congress speaker profile.

“Anyone who’s going to try to present articles [on a smartwatch] is insane,” he says. “The lesson for me is that it’s all about ‘glanceability’ and quick actions. Get those right, and then worry about features.”

See also: Old Media Beware: Mobile-Native News Is Coming

Users can’t spend a long time staring at a wristwatch like they can with a phone or tablet. Plus, notifications are harder to ignore, because a smartwatch is always at hand—and that means alerts have to be as useful and as pertinent as possible.

Which brings us back to Circa and its uncertain future. If it can get wearable news right, then that’s worth a lot to the right buyer. The startup is working with an undisclosed third-party to explore who that could be. “We have some good leads,” Galligan told ReadWrite by email.

The failure to secure more funding will be a disappointment to the Circa team, but in a market shifting towards smaller screens and wearable devices, there’s still potential in its unique approach to news.

If you want to find out how the Circa story continues, join us at Wearable World Congress 2015, May 19-20 in San Francisco, where you can hear from Matt Galligan and many other innovators at experts.

Lead image by Nick Statt for ReadWrite

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.