Lijit Networks Inc., a Louisville, Colo.-based provider of search tools and statistics for online publishers, has raised $7.1 million in Series C funding. Foundry Group led the round, and was joined by fellow return backers Boulder Ventures and High Country Venture. It had previously raised over $3.3 million.
Lijit Networks, Inc. (www.lijit.com), a company that provides search-powered applications for both individual online publishers and online publisher networks, announced today that it has closed a $7.1M series C round of financing, led by Foundry Group. Existing investors, Boulder Ventures and Colorado Fund I, managed by High Country Venture, also participated in the round. Lijit will use the proceeds from this financing to launch its search-powered ad network, which empowers publishers to sell their own search ad inventory, as well as to expand its offices and employee base.
“Publishers leverage Lijit's services to capture more page views and increase reader engagement,” said Chris Wand, Managing Director of Foundry Group. “Our investment in Lijit comes on the heels of an impressive growth trajectory in 2008. Over the past six months the company has tripled the reach of its network, doubled its average publisher size, and provided measurable value back to those publishers.”
Individual publishers utilize Lijit to increase engagement with their readers. Technology expert and syndicated columnist Dave Taylor utilizes Lijit's Re-Search application, part of the standard Lijit Search widget installation, on his popular tech support site, AskDaveTaylor.com. “About 80% of traffic on AskDaveTaylor comes from search engines like Google,” said Taylor. “When readers click through from search results, the Lijit Search widget finds other content on my site and proactively promotes it, keeping readers on the site longer.” The Lijit Re-Search application provides over 150,000 new content impressions a day on AskDaveTaylor.
Lijit recently concluded a detailed analysis of how its search-powered applications generate value for networks of publishers. In partnership with b5media, Lijit installed its search application across all sites in the b5media network, then compared the performance of b5media's standard search box against Lijit's search application. Lijit's search produced three times the search traffic of the standard search box. “More searches and more clicks in search results equal more reader engagement,” commented Jeremy Wright, CEO of b5media. In addition, 26% of search result clicks drove traffic to other b5media publications in the same channel, allowing high-profile publications in the network to introduce readers to newer, lower-traffic publications, thereby boosting traffic across the entire network.
“Since inception, Lijit has continually exceeded its business objectives,” said Todd Vernon, founder and CEO of Lijit. “This significant investment gives us the resources required to continue that growth trajectory, expand the services we provide to our publishers, and continue to add top notch people to our team.”
About Foundry Group
Foundry Group is a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information technology, Internet, and software startups. In addition to providing the necessary venture capital to get a company up and running, Foundry Group is committed to leveraging their experience in starting and growing companies, expertise in the technology industry, and network of relationships to help great entrepreneurs turn great ideas into great companies. Foundry Group is based in Boulder, Colorado, and invests in companies located across the United States. For more information, visit www.foundrygroup.com.
About Boulder Ventures, Ltd.
Boulder Ventures manages over $300 million in venture capital partnerships, making equity investments in start-up, early stage, and emerging growth companies. Boulder Ventures primarily seeks opportunities in enterprise software, Internet-based business applications and services, communications infrastructure and services and life sciences tools and services. Boulder Ventures works in partnership with entrepreneurs, providing easily accessible, active support to develop novel business concepts into important companies. Boulder Ventures has offices in Owings Mills, Maryland and Boulder, Colorado. For more information, visit www.boulderventures.com.
About High Country Venture
High Country Venture manages Colorado Fund I, a venture capital fund seeking to invest in seed and early stage businesses in Colorado. To date, the fund has made several investments in various industries including life sciences, information technology, and retail. It is located in Boulder, Colorado. For more information, visit www.coloradofund1.com.
About Lijit Networks, Inc.
Lijit Networks, Inc. was incorporated in June 2006 and is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. Lijit provides search-powered applications to individual online publishers and online publisher networks that increase page views and reader engagement, while optimizing search ad revenue. www.lijit.com.