How Australia’s FoundrMag engaged online workers and dominated the App Store - Startup Daily
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How Australia’s FoundrMag engaged online workers and dominated the App Store

I have said it before, Melbourne has been harbouring a little secret in the form of young entrepreneur and publisher Nathan Chan.

If you head over to the app store on Android or iOS and go to the News Stand, you will find sitting next to the likes of American produced magazines Entrepreneur and Forbes a title called FoundrMag.

Foundr Magazine is a monthly digital publication that has around 60 -70 pages holding it together.

Chan, the founder of Foundr – has been producing this eMag for 18 issues now. To the novice that may seem like a short amount of time, but as someone who has launched a hardcopy publication in 2011 – let me assure you, between organising photo shoots, interviews and managing a team of people that put everything together, things get pretty hectic. The issues bleed together, there is no stopping or starting.

Chan represents the future of business journalism. He uses

a team of online workers from Elance.com and oDesk.com to put Foundr together each month. This has allowed him to scale his workforce of writers, graphic designers, copywriters and web designers up and down as he needs them.

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Chan says that using freelancers on oDesk allowed him to build the business from scratch with a small AUD$2000 of savings, whilst still working full time at his day job.

“Elance-oDesk allowed me to leverage time zones, whilst I was at work during the day, my team of contractors were getting things completed, writing articles, designing covers and completing the tasks that needed to be done” said Chan.

Foundr is described as being a magazine for the Rebels, the Dreamers and Hustlers. The target audience is Gen Y. Over the last 18 months since launching, the app has been downloaded from the News Stand a little over 80,000 times and you are able to read an issue for free. After that the magazine is a $2.99 a month subscription.

Right now Foundr has over 8,000 (paid) monthly subscribers, Startup Daily estimates that currently revenues for the magazine would be exceeding the $20,000 a month mark or more – this of course is just subscription revenue. Income from partnerships and advertising would significantly increase this number.

The biggest feather in Chan’s cap is definitely the quality of interviewees he has been able to attract, especially for his cover stories. Richard Branson (Virgin), Fabio Rosati (Elance) and Neil Patel (Kissmetrics) have all graced the cover – as well as Arianna Huffington (HuffPost).

Interestingly or perhaps given the cover stories, most of Chan’s readership is from the United States who seem to have adopted eMags at a much faster rate than Australia.

The last 16 months have not been without challenges though. Originally the magazine had a completely different name, and Chan was sued for trademark infringement. Though he says it was a massive lesson to learn, Chan also says that it was a blessing in disguise as it forced him to change the name to Foundr.

Due to legal documents Chan signed at the time he was not able to reveal any information as to who it was that sued him. However a quick trawl through the internet revealed to Startup Daily that the name of the magazine prior to being called Foundr was Key to Success Magazine.

Foundr has some great stories inside, and the fact that a local media startup is having such a global impact is something that should be highlighted.

Nathan Chan is a name that startups and business owners should become acquainted with.

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