LinkSmart Raises $4.7 Million from Foundry Group, Sutter Hill, and Costanoa Venture Capital

LinkSmart, a new, Boulder-based maker of “text linking optimization” software for publishers, has raised $4.7 million in funding from Foundry Group, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Costanoa Venture Capital. Seth Levine, a managing director at Foundry, describes the technology as “an intuitive, scalable, automated platform that analyzes and controls keyword text linking with the goal of optimizing reader traffic flow – but all under the complete control of the publisher (no spam-like text link ads, no pop-ups).”
PRESS RELEASE:

BOULDER, CO, Jun 27, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — LinkSmart, Inc., a provider of text linking optimization solutions for web publishers, today announced the launch of its company and $4.7 million in funding from Foundry Group, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Costanoa Venture Capital. In related news, LinkSmart also announced the public launch of its Total Link Management (TLM) platform, an in-text link analytics, management, and optimization solution for web publishers.

By focusing on an often-forgotten element of every web page, a simple text link in an article, LinkSmart provides web publishers with analytics and insights into how readers are engaging with articles and how to optimize traffic flow by dynamically managing their text links. Unlike other text-linking solutions that serve pop-up ads or send visitors off site to affiliate networks in exchange for money, the TLM platform is an extension of a publisher’s content and traffic management systems focused on increasing engagement, creating new and valuable inventory, supporting advertising relationships, and reducing costs. In early results with LinkSmart’s pilot partners, TLM performed 15 to 20 times better than other common traffic optimization techniques.

“The most successful entrepreneurs are those who’ve walked in the shoes of their customers, and that’s where Pete has a definite edge given his experience at DailyCandy and his other Internet endeavors,” said Seth Levine, partner at Foundry Group. “LinkSmart’s TLM is a complete solution for publishers and solves a very real problem: how to get visitors where you need them, when you need them.”

Prior to LinkSmart, Sheinbaum spent nearly eight years at the consumer-focused web property DailyCandy, being named COO in 2004 and CEO in 2005. He also led the company’s acquisition by Comcast Interactive Media in 2008. A consummate web-publishing veteran, Pete served as COO of retail e-commerce site AlexBlake.com and was the Manager of E-Commerce for E! Television Networks. By invitation, he has served on several boards and advisory committees including IdealBite.com (sold to Disney), TravelPost.com (sold to Sidestep), TotalBeauty.com, Nerdist.com, and Trigger Media.

“LinkSmart is all about returning publishers to the idea that content — their content — is extremely valuable and under utilized as a key driver of traffic,” said Greg Sands, Managing Director at Costanoa Venture Capital. “LinkSmart is taking a fresh approach to help publishers realize that their content is a valuable resource and its link structure should be managed as methodically and analytically as SEO and SEM are managed.”

“The publishing industry is in a crisis,” said Sheinbaum. “I’ve seen things go from bad to worse where publishers are giving away what little margins they have to affiliate vendors rather than stopping to focus on why readers are visiting their site in the first place, and what they can do to improve that experience. LinkSmart is squarely focused on giving publishers a solution that leverages their most valuable asset — content.”

About LinkSmart LinkSmart is a provider of text linking optimization solutions for web publishers. Its cloud-based Total Link Management solution analyzes, manages and dynamically optimizes text linked keywords. LinkSmart’s TLM solution provides end-to-end functionality that reveals actionable insights into how readers navigate through websites, giving publishers the power to direct readers to valuable areas by leveraging text links currently in place or dynamically adding new ones, acting as an extension of publishers’ content and traffic management systems. Founded in 2009, LinkSmart is based in Boulder, Colorado and is backed by leading technology venture capital firms Foundry Group, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Costanoa Venture Capital. For more information or to request a trial, visit http://www.LinkSmart.com .

 

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