Journalist Matt Marshall raised $320,000 for VentureBeat, a technology blog he launched during fall 2006 after leaving The San Jose Mercury News, according to a regulatory filing.
The money comes from former Google executive Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures, early Google employee Georges Harik and Mark Sugarman’s MHS Capital Partners. The company’s Series A financing included a total of seven investors.
Marshall declined to comment at this time, saying he would post information about the financing on his website soon.
The money comes as VentureBeat appears to be losing readers. Data from web traffic analytics company Alexa.com – which can be volatile and inaccurate – suggests that the percentage of daily page views VentureBeat.com gets has decreased over the past year. Data from Compete.com, an Alexa.com competitor, suggests that VentureBeat’s readership may not be falling, but that the number of visitors each month may have hit a plateau over the fall.
The site met with a particularly warm initial reception when Marshall left his job with the Mercury News in 2006. He had written a popular blog called SiliconBeat for several years and was able to carry over many of his readers to his new domain. In fact, Marshall’s fans swamped his site with traffic and overwhelmed his servers within several hours of VentureBeat’s launch.
Marshall’s move to go solo had been on his mind for some time before he left the Mercury News. He saw his Pulitzer-prize winning father forced into early retirement at the LA Times several years ago. “It was an indicator that there’s real change going on in the newspaper industry,” he says.
He is not the first journalist to receive venture financing for his company. Om Malik received an undisclosed amount of funding from True Ventures in 2006.
VentureBeat has written about several of the companies backed by the company’s own investors. It is unclear if VentureBeat will disclose those relationships now that it has raised money from those investors.
Update: Matt Marshall wrote to me to say “I definitely do have a comment on your point about stats. They’re wrong!” Marshall says his audience is growing.