News Start-up Daylife Raises First Round; NYTCO Leads Investors

You’re reading it here first … After a year of mostly veiled references and speculation fueled by the involvement of Jeff Jarvis as an adviser and Craig Newmark as an investor, Daylife, the distributed news platform founded by Upendra Shardanand, is about to see the light of day — funded by roughly twice as many investors as it has employees. The New York Times Company is leading the round of more than two dozen investors and is putting up nearly half the amount; the company isn’t planning to release a number when the formal announcement is made in the next few days but it’s likely in the low-mid millions range.
Other investors include Doug Chertok and Rich LeFurgy through Archer Martin; Ken Lerer, the Huffington Post; Azeem Azhar; Andy Sack, Judy’s Book; Mike Yavonditte, Quigo; and Scott Heiferman, co-founder, Meetup. Several investors — among them Craig Newmark, Mike Arrington, Dave Winer, John Borthwick — have made their involvement public in recent months. A number of first-round participants also were angel investors including Newmark, Borthwick and Mika Salmi, CEO, Atom Entertainment.
I saw an early demo of Daylife last month but a number of changes have been made since then so I’m not sure what made the final cut. The mission is to gather and organize news in ways that are most relevant to the user. That could be by event, topic, author, geography or other factors. Source pages that show what a journalist writes about or who is quoted are part of the mix. RSS plays an important role. In an interview, Shardanand said the distributed platform — designed for use across multiple sites — will be open “to a degree” with options for revenue sharing and licensing for those doing a heavy volume. “Anyone can take what we’re building and add it to their own site