Kara Swisher

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Crowd Fusion Buys Ceros — And Changes Its Name and Business Model

Content management system start-up Crowd Fusion is acquiring a London-based company called Ceros and — in the process — will also be changing its name to the London company it bought.

In addition, said Crowd Fusion CEO Brian Alvey, the company will eventually be focusing more on Ceros’ software-as-a-service product for brands, retailers and marketers rather than its enterprise CMS publishing offerings used by sites like TMZ, Essence, ExtraTV and The Daily.

“We are not abandoning existing publishing customers who have contracts with us at all, but we haven’t taken on any new publishing customers in a while,” wrote Alvey in an email. “For now, we will be supporting both our open-ended Crowd Fusion enterprise CMS for publishers and our Ceros product for brands.”

Ceros CEO Simon Berg will become CEO of the combined entity, with Alvey becoming chief scientist and chairman.

Crowd Fusion has raised only $3 million since it was founded four years ago, from investors that include Greycroft, Fuse Capital, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.

It now has a staff of 33 people; Ceros has 12 employees.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald