Return to search

Sprout Raises $5 Million

Sprout, a San Francisco-based platform for creating, publishing and managing rich media content, has raised $5 million in Series B funding. Polaris Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers Global Venture Capital and Mitch Kapor.



Sprout, the premier platform for easily creating, publishing and managing rich media Web content, has closed a $5 million Series B financing led by Polaris Venture Partners. Mike Hirshland, general partner at Polaris, has joined Sprout's board of directors. Existing investor Global Venture Capital (gvc) and legendary entrepreneur Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation and designer of Lotus 1-2-3, also participated in the round.


Sprout is a free Web-based authoring platform that enables anyone to quickly and easily build widgets, mashups, mini-sites, banners and other forms of interactive and distributable web content. Users create “sprouts” by dragging and dropping rich media such as video, audio, images, text, shapes, and interactive services such as Twitter, Ribbit, PollDaddy and more. Sprouts can be embedded onto any Web site, blog, or social networking profile, and updates to the sprout are instantly reflected in all copies in circulation. Sprout's customers range from individuals, organizations, and business small and large, including major record labels such as Universal Music Canada.


“While Flash content is ubiquitous on the Web, the process of creating and distributing Flash content was time consuming and required specialized skills. And integrating Flash with third party Web services and components has been near impossible. With Sprout, anyone can quickly create rich, Flash-based content that incorporates advanced components and Web services, and distribute them on the Web,” said Carnet Williams, co-founder and CEO, Sprout. A video interview with Sprout's co-founder and CEO, Carnet Williams is available at:


“We've been on the widget bandwagon for some time now, and are thrilled to have found a team in the space to back,” noted Mike Hirshland, in a blog post 'Why Polaris is Backing Sprout.' “The web's basic building block is shifting from websites to embeddable, portable chunks of content — widgets, gadgets, whatever you want to call them. Sprout has quickly established itself as the early leader for creating, launching and managing this fast-emerging content format, much like our portfolio company Allaire did with website creation a decade ago, and we think Sprout has a similar opportunity to build tremendous value.”


About Sprout


Sprout is the premier platform for easily creating, publishing and managing sophisticated rich media content on the Web. With Sprout, anyone can quickly and easily build widgets, minisites, banners and other rich media content for their blog, social networking profile or web site. Sprout is based in San Francisco, CA, and Honolulu, HI. To learn more, please visit


About Polaris Venture Partners


A national venture capital firm with over $3 billion under management, Polaris invests in seed, early stage and growth equity businesses in the technology, life science, digital media, enertech and consumer sectors. Other digital media investments in Polaris' portfolio include Automattic/Wordpress, BlackArrow, Heavy, JibJab Media, Quantcast and Turbine Entertainment.


Through a philosophy of lead investing and active, long-term partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams, Polaris has helped many companies achieve outstanding success. Among them are: Accordant Health Services, Acusphere, Advanced Inhalation Research (AIR), Akamai Technologies, Allaire Corporation, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, American Superconductor, Archivas, Aspect Medical Systems, Avici Systems, Centra Software, Classifieds2000, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Cushcraft Corporation, deCODE genetics,, GlycoFi, Matrics, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Paradigm Genetics, Powersoft, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Solidworks, and TransForm Pharmaceuticals.