Google on Thursday announced the recipients of almost $24 million in funding raised during the third funding round of its Digital News Initiative (DNI), i.e. its €150 million ($171 million) Innovation Fund. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant disclosed 107 projects from 27 European countries that have now been approved to receive close to €22 million in funding, with 49 of them being prototypes that received up to €50,000, 31 being medium initiatives that were approved for up to €300,000, and 27 getting up to €1 million as large-scale projects. Refer to the infographic beneath this writing for a detailed breakdown of the DNI's latest funding recipients, but in short – large projects once again amounted for more than half of all available resources, signaling how the initiative is still primarily interested in backing relatively complete and defined ideas that have a clear goal and execution in mind.
The DNI observed a number of new trends during its latest funding round, noting how organizations across Europe are now placing a larger focus on fact checking platforms and related solutions. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another quickly growing segment that certain innovators want to intertwine with traditional journalism, and investigative reporting is currently going through a resurrection of sorts, the company said.
Google established the DNI two years ago, not long after the European Commission (EC) started a number of antitrust probes into the Alphabet-owned company's dealings on the Old Continent, which some industry watchers believed was directly associated with those investigations. Regardless of whether those allegations were true or not, the DNI continues to channel millions of euros into European news-related startups even after being hit with by far the largest antitrust fine in the history of the European Union. Google announced that the fourth funding round of the DNI Innovation Fund is set to be opened in early September, without providing a specific launch date. Just like the previous three rounds, the fourth one will run for 30 days and be somewhat different in terms of the application process that Google said was changed based on previous feedback. No concrete information on the matter has yet been given by the tech giant, though an update on the situation should follow shortly.