Our startup for the week is Overlooked, a online news company dedicated to the fight against fake news.
The company was founded in November 2017 by George Sehremelis, a senior majoring in Business Administration. “In high school I was suspiciously addicted to watching CNN, Fox, MS-NBC for hours everyday,” says Sehremelis everyday. “My family’s village in Greece was home to the one of the largest percentage massacre by the Nazis in World War 2 and the sad fact was that it was based on false reports.”
Overlooked is dedicated to the spread of accurate information on current issues unlike social media sites. The problem with Facebook and Twitter is that the users could get away with lying on the site with the information spreading faster than it could be stopped. “In the US we see fake news as a matter of politics.” says Sehremelis “For the rest of the world, misinformation is a matter of life and death.”
Overlooked’s target market include college students from places like USC, Harvard, Georgetown, Stanford any anyone who use but don’t completely trust social media. “Currently, Overlooked has ambassadors at other colleges to raise awareness on what it is we do.” says Sehremelis.
Overlooked currently has a core team of seven members but that number is growing. In the USC Spring Startup Career Fair, Overlooked received over 600 resumes from students looking for a spring internship. From that batch, the company hopes to hire promising interns for machine learning, development, journalists, social media marketing, administrative duties, etc.
Currently, Overlooked has raised over 110,000 dollars from angel investors. Because usage for the site is free, most of the companies revenue comes from advertisements. “It’s actually more profitable as a news site than a feed based site since people click on news articles more.” Says Sehremelis “Our CPM does down a lot so we’re a lot more capable of being profitable in the future.”
How to Use
Overlooked is unique from other social news site in the sense that it prevents people from posting. Every article from the site is web scraped from a reputable news organization and every two hours, the company scrapes the latest news article for people to get news in real time.
Once customers log in to the site, they’ll see their personal profile. On the profile, you can see which articles you’ve read and for each one, users can vote whether an article leans to the left, the right or is neutral. The company also has an algorithm that checks the content of the article and gives it a score that determines whether it is opinionated or not.
“The goal of the company is to stay ahead of fake news and make all info free and public.” says Sehremelis “There’s a real fear that in countries where news are fake or censored that nobody will know anything, and that in my eyes is unacceptable.”
Long term goals
- Becoming an information booth for the 2020 election that people can trust
- A youtube channel to complement the website on raising awareness on current events
- Fund raise a couple million dollars to increase growth
- Further develop the website in response to customer usage and feedback
To check out the site go to https://overlooked.com
Also, check out their social media: