Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Chartbeat Raises $9 Million for More Real-Time Web Publishing Analytics

You can make money running a Web publishing business, but that’s a difficult and uncertain proposition. Better bet: Selling tools to Web publishers.

This seems to be working for Chartbeat, a company that sells a low-cost, lightweight analytics system that lets Web publishers see how their content is performing in real time.

The New York-based company has more than 4,000 paying customers (AllThingsD is a user), and now it has a bunch of money to go find more, via a $9.5 million B round led by DFJ and Index Ventures.

Revenue? CEO Tony Haile says he’s been generating millions a year for “quite some time,” and while he won’t get more specific, he does say revenue was up 3.5x in the last year. Profits? “If I’m profitable, I’m not growing my team fast enough,” he says.

Alrighty. Chartbeat also has a zippy new interface with even more information porn than before — the new look seems directly inspired by the infographics that Web publishers have been chucking up with abandon for the past year or so, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Which brings me back to the question I have every time I think about Chartbeat or any of the other analytics services available for Web publishers these days — what exactly are we supposed to do with all of this data?

Every time I write about Chartbeat, I end up having the same conversation with Haile, so this time I figured I’d just be more efficient and rerun the last interview I had with him, from back in January 2011.

And here, because I can — some Thomas Dolby:

(Happy Birthday, Jonah!)

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik