Home Big Data Gets Big Investment: $20M for Social Sharing Service AddThis

Big Data Gets Big Investment: $20M for Social Sharing Service AddThis

Clearspring Technologies, the maker of the AddThis widget that facilitates content sharing on the Internet, announced today that it has closed a $20 million round of funding from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

Clearspring is all about data. Big data. Lots of data. Data coming out of our ears data. Clearspring processes 10 terabytes of data per day. The AddThis button is on over nine million websites and has a billion unique users worldwide. Data is generated by users of the platform sharing content across social and news networks as well as when people visit sits that AddThis is embedded on. Clearspring will use this round of funding to accelerate its next-generation publishing products and continue growth of its advertising offerings.

“You look at the audience business that we have, helping advertisers reach audiences at the right time through the ad exchanges and platforms … that market size is doubling every year and we are already a leader. So, if we just continue to build our position and we have a growing business. But, that is just one thing. You can build end products that generate revenue off of this. So, they look at it and are like ‘OK, they already have a business that is tripling in revenue this year in a market that is doubling every single year. What else could they do?” Said Radfar.

“People are pretty excited. It makes you dizzy,” Hooman Radfar, CEO and co-founder of Clearspring, said to us. “You think, I have the entire Internet measured and I can have it in real-time. You look at comScore, for instance, every month they give you a flash report. I can give it to you on the minute of who is on your site. Right now, across every site. What could you do with that?”

This is Internet data done right. AddThis gets data from everywhere, all the time. Clearspring can make this data available to publishers with high-end analytics to be able to take action on what users are reading and sharing on their sites and optimize the Web experience to the user.

“We can now bring the power of that reach back to the individual publisher via our next generation tools and services, which will focus on providing publishers actionable data, not just from the social web, but the entire web,” said Radfar. “Imagine the challenges we can help a publisher solve- -it’s a staggering opportunity.”

What To Do With All That Data?

Clearspring has a few primary focuses. Foremost is the publisher platform that shares content around the web as well as producing data for Clearspring content creators. Second is the data analytics. Essentially, Clearspring creates an entire Library of Congress worth of data every week (around 70 terabytes). They are building data centers in Ashburn, Va. and Los Angeles. Third is the social media optimization and advertisers network. The biggest part for Clearspring is that all of the data analysis in done in real-time. They showed me a screen board in their offices in McLean, Va. with screen tracking the Internet that was counting how many shares and views and the like were coming across on a huge portion of the Internet. It is truly mind blowing how much data Clearspring can process.

“That is what everyone is excited about, that next generation of tools,” Radfar said. “It is cool that we have always had that vision around data and analytics and being this big data company and now it is like everyone gets big data and it is all about big data because the timing was really good.”

The hope for the publishing industry is that firms like Clearspring and other will be able to provide enough rich data that advertisers will up the ante on rates for digital content as opposed to print content. The amount of data that Clearspring brings to the table should go a long way in helping bridge that divide.

“Just imagine, you take the power of that entire network, a billion uniques and nine million sites and run it through that processing,” Radfar said. “What are all the products that we can offer a publisher and bring that back to an individual.”

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