Flipboard is expanding its operations with the opening of a European office in London. This will be the company’s first business office based outside the United States and Asia and will be dedicated to managing relationships with advertisers, publishers, and readers in the region.
The company revealed that it now has 85 million monthly active users (up from 80 million in October), of which 20 million are from Europe, a number that’s nearly on par with numbers in the United States. Flipboard also hired TIME and Fortune’s executive sales director, Christian Cecchi, to head up its efforts to not only nurture existing brand relationships, but also curate new ones.
Joining Cecchi in the London office are Lucy Gould, the company’s director of partnership development, who established a beachhead for Flipboard in 2014 and launched Rolex, The Guardian, and others on the platform; and Paul Katz, who was previously based in the company’s New York office and will focus on content distribution.
This isn’t Flipboard’s first office outside of the U.S.; it currently has an office in China, although it’s focused primarily on product. Cecily Mak, the company’s interim chief revenue officer, told VentureBeat that the expansion into Europe has always been a part of Flipboard’s strategic plan, especially as the team looks to focus its efforts around partnerships with premier brands. She said that categories being targeted include travel, financial services, automotive, and luxury retailers — and there’s no better place than Europe to find those companies.
Flipboard already works with a number of European-based premier brands, such as Rolex, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, SAP, and Breitling.
While the new office will be geared toward managing business, readers will likely also benefit from the increased attention, especially since more localized versions could appear. The European presence could even open up growth into the Middle East, Africa, and India — all intriguing territories for Flipboard, Mak said.
Mak told us that the company will be building relationships with new publishers, as well as working more closely with those currently participating, such as Wired UK and The Guardian.
The news comes nearly four months after reports surfaced about Twitter potentially buying the company for $1 billion. These rumors had subsided in recent weeks, but what lingered were questions about the company’s progress. Mak defended Flipboard, saying that it’s “an exciting time” for the company, and that its “growth is confidently expanding its success from the U.S. to the European territory.” She also said the service grew its readership by 100 percent last year, adding that “This should be a signal of more to come.”