World’s Largest Widget Syndicator Clearspring Secures $18 Million in FundingNew Enterprise Associates Leads the Round
McLean, Va. - May 21, 2008 — Clearspring Technologies Inc., the world's largest widget syndication and tracking service, has secured $18 million in a series C funding round that includes leading venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Novak Biddle Venture Partners and other current investors. The new round will fund expansion of Clearspring's viral marketing network, which currently serves and tracks almost four billion widgets monthly. It will also be used to extend Clearspring's reach into international markets and further develop its rapidly growing advertising network and vast data infrastructure and optimization services. Clearspring's category leadership is well-established — according to comScore's Widget Metrix report, Clearspring tallied 126 million unique widget viewers in March 2008, making it the No. 1 widget platform in the world.
"No other widget company has the breadth of relationships with content publishers, advertisers, developers and social media, as well as the full suite of widget services including syndication, in-depth analytics and easy-to-use monetization tools," said Harry Weller, partner at NEA. "Clearspring is the leader in this space, and we look forward to working with the company as it expands its platform and extends its reach into global markets."
Weller will join the Clearspring Board of Directors, joining, among others, Internet pioneers Steve Case, Ted Leonsis and Miles Gilburne. Case, the co-founder of America Online, Leonsis, AOL's Vice Chairman Emeritus, who recently became Clearspring's Chairman, and Gilburne are all credited with driving worldwide adoption of the Internet by providing tens of millions of people with their first Internet connection. Also new to the Clearspring board is Nigel Morris, co-founder of Capital One.
"We are excited about partnering with NEA. This partnership will enable us to enter the next phase of our growth and pioneer the next generation of the Social Web," said Hooman Radfar, Clearspring co-founder and chief executive officer. "Advertisers and publishers rely on us as a channel to reach audiences on the Social Web, and this funding will enable us to extend our platform and services to continue delivering on that promise."
Clearspring provides the platform and services connecting widget advertisers and publishers to the evolving Social Web. The company has served more than 33 billion widget views since launching its platform in 2007. Clearspring's platform enables publishers, developers and advertisers to distribute, track and monetize content as widgets to more than 80 social networks, blogs, start pages, and bookmarking sites — including Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Blogger, iGoogle, and Windows Vista.
"Clearspring is definitely hitting on all cylinders. A growing list of world-class customers, incredible growth in the usage of its syndication services, and a significant investment from a firm with NEA's reputation provide validation that we're leading the charge into the next evolution of the Web," said Leonsis. "We're thrilled that Harry Weller and Nigel Morris have joined the board. Harry brings a proven history of guiding early stage companies to success, and Nigel, who while at Capital One unlocked the market value of their data, brings experience that will help us leverage our vast amount of data to deliver the best end-user experience and the most efficient advertising network on the Social Web."
Marketers who have used Clearspring's widget network include mass market consumer brands such as Aquafina, Honda, Snapple, Snickers, Sprint and Virgin Mobile. Other customers include movie and entertainment companies like Blockbuster, Disney, Fox Broadcasting, Lionsgate and Sony Pictures, major sports leagues like the NBA, NFL and NHL, major advertising agencies including 360i, Digitas, JWT, Mediacom, MindShare and Universal McCann, and world renowned media firms such as ESPN, National Geographic, NBC Universal, Newsweek, Time-Warner and Washingtonpost.com. Also, top international recording artists including Linkin Park, Madonna, Radiohead and U2 have successfully launched promotions using Clearspring widgets.
Clearspring Technologies is the leader in connecting publishers, services and advertisers to audiences on the social web. Ranked #1 by comScore, Clearspring’s AddThis platform enables leading publishers like AOL, Demand Media, MySpace, and NBC to distribute and track digital content such as web pages, widgets, and videos to social networks, bookmarking sites, blogs, and more. AddThis is used by over 1.5 million unique domains reaching over 1 billion unique users monthly. Clearspring's Audience Platform leverages aggregate data from AddThis to allow advertisers and publishers to reach these audiences by influence, interest and intent in real-time. Founded in 2004, the company is privately held. Visit www.clearspring.com.