Deutsche Telekom, Bertelsmann invest in a German content factory

As my colleague David Meyer recently wrote, carriers like T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom need to invest in non-core areas to avoid becoming merely pipes.

Now DT’s T-Venture arm is amongst those backing Content Fleet, a data-driven startup that identifies content web users want – then writes it for them.

Aiming to expand in Europe and to America, Content Fleet is raising a single-digit-million-euro amount from T-Venture, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investment and Neuhaus Partners, which all previously put €2.5 million in to the outfit.

Designed for publishers, the company’s Content Evaluation System scans web sources to learn what readers are seeking, then assigns topics to writers based on their likely traffic impact. The system purports to show publishers exactly how much they can make in ad money from writing about particular keywords.

The writing is also something Content Fleet can do for publishers. It also employs a team of writers to pen 15,000 articles each month for thematic portals it builds for publishers hoping to match searchers with stories.

To some, it may sound like a nightmare future vision of robotic, search-driven journalism. But many publishers, seeking efficiency, are trying to reduce risk and to learn exactly what readers want.

Based in Hamburg and Berlin, Content Fleet is used by, Yahoo, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Online portal and others.