LinkStorm Raises $4.2 Million

LinkStorm, a New York-based developer of an online linking system for the advertising, marketing and ecommerce markets, has raised $4.2 million in Series C funding from individual angels. The company previously had raised around $9 million.

Linkstorm, based in New York City, has completed raising $4.2 million, allowing the marketing technology company to expand its sales efforts into the advertising, marketing and e-commerce markets.

Founded in 2000 as Content Directions, and renamed in November 2005, Linkstorm is pioneering a new approach to online advertising. The company has developed a next-generation Internet navigation and linking system that significantly increases user engagement and enhances the performance of online advertising, e-commerce and online publishing. The company's technology is already in use throughout the scientific, educational and professional publishing industry, where Linkstorm's clients including McGraw-Hill, Harvard Business School Publishing and Cambridge University Press, and where its underlying linking platform is used to interlink 99 percent of the world's scientific, technical and medical journal articles.

The series C funding round, which was oversubscribed by former and new investors, will allow Linkstorm to expand its staff and begin an aggressive push into advertising and related market segments targeting large brands and leading advertising agencies. In addition, it has enabled the company to move into new Silicon Alley offices at 34 W. 22nd Street in the Flatiron section of Manhattan.

Linkstorm's initial funding rounds included Esther Dyson, longtime editor of Release 1.0; former chairman of ICANN, which sets policy for the domain name system; and an active investor in a variety of Internet start-ups; Bob Weissman, former CEO/chairman of Dun and Bradstreet; Marty Kahn, Linkstorm chairman, venture partner with Rho Capital and entrepreneur of such information industry successes as OneSource, Ovid and BRS Information Systems; and David Sidman, company founder and CEO.

The current round adds more than 60 new investors including Jim Rutt, principal of JPR Ventures, former Thomson executive and CEO of Network Solutions who sold it to Verisign for $17 billion in 2000; and Jeff Ballowe, who retired from Ziff-Davis in 1998 having served as president of its interactive media division and also serving as publisher of PC Magazine. Mr. Ballowe has become an Advisor to Linkstorm's Board.

More than 25 previous investors also re-upped in the current round; some have made as many as five investments in the company over time.

“Linkstorm gives some control and speed back to the user; instead of clicking blindly on a link, the user can quickly see and pick from an array of choices in advance. That can work whether the link is to a merchant's site, an individual's profile or any other content,” said Ms. Dyson. “For example, you could link to an investor's bio, portfolio, photo and other items in an online press release.”

Roll here for an example of a Linkstorm Portable Universal Profile (PUP)