Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Janrain Raises $15.5M for Social Log-ins

Managing online identities used to be a niche cause full of acronyms and hypotheticals, but now that the Web is getting more personalized it’s obvious how integral this topic is — witness the recent debate about Google+ and Facebook requiring real names versus allowing anonymous usage.

Janrain, a Web identity management provider, has survived six years in the space and today is announcing $15.5 million in new funding led by Emergence Capital Partners and including Anthem Venture Partners, DFJ Frontier and RPM Ventures.

Janrain says it’s now used on 350,000 websites, including those made with Ning, KickApps and Get Satisfaction. You can see an example of how Janrain works on the Nasdaq community site below — basically, visitors are given the option to authenticate themselves with an existing account on another social service.

Web sites — that pay Janrain for its services — benefit because they can piggyback on the login and profile information users provide to other sites.

See also: Clearspring, which offers social sharing tools with an advertising business model, recently raised $20 million.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work