Social content distributor Clearspring has raised a $20 million fourth round as it expands offices and is continuing to build up its staff. Secondly, the company needs the funding to help support its technology services, which CEO Hooman Radfar says involving processing as much data per week as the entire digital Library of Congress has stored online.
The funding for the McLean, Va.-based company was led by Institutional Venture Partners. “They’ve backed Twitter and Zynga, so I feel we’re in pretty good company,” Radfar tells paidContent. Clearspring’s other investors include New Enterprise Associates, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, former AOL (NYSE: AOL) vice chair and president Ted Leonsis, AOL founder Steve Case, Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris, and Silicon Valley super-angel Ron Conway.
Clearspring is in the process of opening offices in Chicago and Detroit. “Our midwest business has been exploding,” Radfar says, adding that acquisitions are also part of the funding plan.
The company was primarily known as a provider of content and analysis of widget content and advertising. While it provides a range of analytics services, Clearspring’s main product is the AddThis sharing tool, an orange box with white plus sign icon that is available on more than 9 million websites globally. The tool lets users to share content with people they know through more than 300 different social networks in 70 languages.
“We’ve got a really broad range of publishers and we’re in every category,” Radfar says. “If we were a publsuer, we would be in the top five. We’re starting to engage in the large publishers in each category. We have been focused on real time analytics for five years. That’s what’s built our ad exchange business.”
Clearspring hopes to sell more publishers and advertisers on its real-time data products, which shows how ads and traffic are doing in the moment. “Giving the publisher more data is so critical,” he says. “Search engine optimization is about days and weeks. But social media optimization is about seconds and minutes. That’s where publishers and advertisers are increasingly focused this way and they need to react quickly.”