Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Slide Gets Big Funding?

Call it the Facebook Funding Effect.

slide

I am still collecting details, but Slide–the San Francisco start-up whose widgets are among the most popular on Facebook and MySpace–is completing a round of funding that could value it at many times a multiple of its most recent $60 million to $80 million valuation.

That would be a large leap from a round that Slide announced in November of 2006 with investors that included Khosla Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, Founders Fund and the Mayfield Fund. Sources said the investment then was $20 million.

Slide is reportedly using Allen & Co., the media-connected New York-based investment firm, to help them in raising the latest round.

The reason for getting more funding, said sources, is to be able to acquire other companies and expand, using cash and the stakes in the higher-valued company, much in the same way that Facebook has done.

The social-networking universe was recently shaken up, when Facebook got a $240 million investment from Microsoft that valued the company at $15 billion.

Slide makes a wide range of software, called widgets, that have been attracting many millions of users each. They include everything from slide shows to a program called SuperPoke that allows a user to, well, poke another in a super way.

The company calls itself the “largest personal media network in the world, reaching more than 134 million unique global viewers each month and 30% of the U.S. Internet audience.”

But the company recently said reports had put that number at 144 million, excluding its 50 million users on Facebook. Its competitors include other widget-makers like RockYou.

A lot of Slide’s current growth has been through taking advantage of the huge spike in users first at MySpace and now at Facebook.

But Slide and its founder Max Levchin, as well as its investors, have grander dreams than riding on the coattails of bigger players.

They consider the company to be a new kind of distributed content and application company that is not dependent on large platforms like Facebook and MySpace.

More to come about the funding, but here is a post of a visit I made to Slide in September of 2007 and also a video interview I did with Levchin:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus