DataSphere, one of the fastest-growing players in the increasingly crowded hyperlocal news space, has raised $10 million in its third round of funding. The company, which helps TV stations set up hyperlocal websites and then monetize them, has landed several major partnerships since it last raised outside cash in January; notably, Gannett (NYSE: GCI) chose DataSphere in June to help it launch “community sites” for 10 of its local TV stations.
DataSphere pitches its platform as an easy way for established local TV broadcasters to capture some of the booming market for local online advertising. It provides its customers with back-end technology to set up the sites, as well as a local ad sales force, and splits resulting revenue. In addition to Gannett, customers include local TV broadcasters Raycom Media, LocalTV, Fisher Communications and Hubbard Broadcasting.
The company provided us with some almost Patch-like numbers to demonstrate its recent growth; it says its network now includes 750 hyperlocal sites, which reached more than 12 million unique visitors in August. It says it expects to be in 1,200 communities by year-end. And, it’s on a hiring spree, saying it hopes to add 150 employees to its current 220 by January.
The new funding round was led by OVP Venture Partners and brings DataSphere’s total backing to more than $20 million. Other investors include Fisher Communications and Ignition Partners.
Here’s how the DataSphere-built hyperlocal sites are being promoted in Seattle, where Fisher-owned KOMO TV is a customer: