Why Fairfax Media is purchasing a stake in social media site Nabo

By Uwear

New Australian social networking site Nabo has already received monetary support from Seven West Media as well as Westpac-backed venture capital firm Reinventure Group.

Now Fairfax Media, the publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review and The Age, is joining the club. As the company continues to stray beyond the realms of traditional media, Fairfax has recently purchased 25 per cent of Nabo.

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A social media site connecting neighbourhood residents with local organisations and councils, Nabo allows neighbours a way to discover and discuss what’s going on in their area, as well as a way to get to become more familiar with each other.

The platform was launched in November 2014 with $2.25 million in funding, and is similar to a U.S. site called Nextdoor, which has been praised for helping reduce crime by allowing neighbours to post community news, warnings and photos.

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“Nabo is a social network connecting people to their neighbours and broader community in a safe and friendly way,” said Allen Williams, Fairfax’s managing director of Australian Publishing Media. “The digital business strongly aligns with Fairfax’s long history of connecting communities via hundreds of newspapers and websites across rural, regional and metropolitan areas.”

Nabo already operates in over 5800 Australian suburbs, and has created partnerships with community-based groups such as Crimestoppers NSW. In addition, the company has seen its membership increase by 720 per cent since January.

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Fairfax Media New Zealand also bought a stake in a Kiwi-founded neighbourhood website called Neighbourly in December 2014, in an effort to boost its relevance in communities throughout New Zealand. According to Williams, the site has achieved tremendous growth in leveraging Fairfax’s large-scale audiences.

“We believe Nabo has similar potential in the Australian market, and we look forward to working closely with the team to strengthen its offering and achieve its full potential,” said Williams.”

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