Twitter takes over Dutch start-up Revue

August 21, 2021 by No Comments

The Dutch start-up Revue, a company that facilitates online newsletters, is being taken over by Twitter. Twitter announced this in a blog post on Tuesday.

The Utrechtse Revue was founded in 2015 by Mohamed El Maslouhi and Martijn de Kuijper, who previously sold the software company Fosbury he started and the online household book Yunoo. In 2015, De Kuijper was one of the first to discover that there was no platform yet that helps individual users to write and send a newsletter. The company would not say how much Twitter will pay for the acquisition. A spokesperson said that Revue’s head office will remain in Utrecht.

Newsletter subscribers sometimes pay tens of euros per month for newsletters, often on very specific topics: from parenting to investing. The platforms receive a share of the proceeds. At market leader Substack this is 10 percent and at Revue 5 percent. The rest, minus fees for payments, is up to the creator. Substack. founded in 2017 in Silicon Valley, last year had more than 100,000 subscribers paying for the service, a number that is doubling annually. Revue, which has mostly American customers, does not disclose figures.

A group of wealthy individuals (angel investors) invested 400,000 euros in Revue a year after it was founded, including internet entrepreneurs Robert Gaal and Ronald Hans. De Kuijper announces via WhatsApp that he and El Maslouhi will remain with Revue after the takeover of Twitter. “And we are looking for more people. You can call it that”, says De Kuijper. Revue has seven employees.

Mini media-imperium

For Twitter, which runs on ad revenue, the purchase of Revue is part of a strategy to make money in a different way. It has long been rumored that Twitter, which is losing out to the advertising machines of Google and Facebook and is plagued by trolls and fake news, is working towards a service that users will have to pay for in the future.

Several American journalists recently traded their regular jobs for a paid newsletter on Substack, including Casey Newton (The Verge), Emily Atkin (New Republic) en Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept). In this way, writers are building their own “mini media empire,” said Substack founder Hamish McKenzie in an interview with The Washington Post. Although for the time being only a handful of makers can live on the money that a newsletter generates.

By purchasing Revue, Twitter can benefit from this trend. “Many established writers and publishers have built their brand and reputation on Twitter,” Twitter wrote in the blog post. “We plan to make it easy for writers to connect with their subscribers on Twitter, opening up new opportunities for readers to interact within a group of people with similar interests.”