Clearspring Raises $20M for Audience Data and Gobbling Up Start-ups
Clearspring, maker of the AddThis sharing tool seen on nine million Web sites, has raised $20 million in Series D funding led by Institutional Venture Partners.
Though the measurement techniques for these kinds of syndicated Web tools are in flux, the McLean, Va.-based Clearspring has more than one billion monthly unique visitors, which it says beats competitors such as ShareThis and Meebo.
Clearspring co-founder and CEO Hooman Radfar said his company opened this year with its first profitable quarter, and that it will bring in tens of millions in revenue annually, “tripling this year and accelerating.” Radfar attested that he doesn’t need the new funding to operate, but rather plans to spend it on acquisitions.
What does he want to buy? Start-ups that “leverage data and build audiences more efficiently,” Radfar said. “We’re trying to look at companies that are younger and earlier than us but don’t have millions to build the real-time infrastructure we’ve built.”
Radfar said that beyond its current advertising business, Clearspring is poised to take advantage of all the data about users and content that passes through its system. “Data is the most valuable outcome of the social web,” he said.
Interestingly, Radfar observed that Chad Hurley and Steve Chen’s new company AVOS, which bought Delicious and a social media marketing company, sounds like it’s heading down a similar path of analyzing real-time audience data.