ShareThis has acquired Socialize, a maker of technology for app developers, and also announced that it has raised $23 million in Series C financing. The new round is led by T-Venture, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom, and includes participation from Harbourton, Blue Chip Venture Company, DFJ, Illinois Ventures, Matthew Pritzker Company, Mercury Fund and RPM Ventures. Bernhard Gold of T-Venture will join the company’s board.
ShareThis today announced that it has acquired Socialize and secured $23M in Series C financing. Socialize provides app developers with a drop-in social solution that generates greater user engagement and more downloads by making apps more social. With this acquisition, ShareThis creates a unified platform across desktop, mobile web browser and in-app environments, extending its massive reach of 200 million US internet users to the mobile app ecosystem.
“We’ve seen mobile sharing traffic double over the past year so there’s a massive opportunity to combine our deep knowledge of social audiences and the most engaging content to create truly compelling mobile ad executions,” said Kurt Abrahamson, CEO of ShareThis. “The acquisition of Socialize and our new round of funding will accelerate our efforts to deliver an enhanced digital advertising solution for brands, content optimization offerings for publishers and of course, the choice and flexibility consumers want in sharing content that moves them.”
ShareThis’ new round of funding is led by T-Venture, the venture capital company of Deutsche Telekom, and includes new investors Harbourton and corporate funds represented by West Capital Advisors. Existing investors Blue Chip Venture Company, DFJ, Illinois Ventures, Matthew Pritzker Company, Mercury Fund and RPM Ventures participated. Bernhard Gold of T-Venture will join the company’s Board of Directors. The company plans to use the new funding for product development and market expansion. With this Series C round, ShareThis’ total funding is $54 million.
“Any time you have a chance to work closely with a team that has an unparalleled understanding of consumer behavior across all social channels and devices, it’s going to be an exciting opportunity,” said Bernhard Gold, Investment Director, T-Venture. “ShareThis is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the exploding cross-platform advertising opportunity and T-Venture is delighted to lead this round of funding to further support and leverage the growth of the company.”
Turning the Spotlight on Mobile Sharing
Socialize’s social solutions have been integrated into hundreds of iOS and Android apps, which have been installed on more than 67 million devices. This acquisition will extend ShareThis’ proprietary measure of the social quality of online content (SQI) to include in-app mobile social actions. As a result, publishers will be able to use ShareThis to get specific sharing analytics on desktop and mobile in a single dashboard with an industry-trusted measure. Both publishers and app developers will benefit from enhanced ways to optimize and monetize their apps.
“Mobile app users typically have no idea who the other users of the same app are. It’s like everyone’s in the same room… with the lights off. We ‘turn the lights on’ by allowing users of the same app to socialize with each other and have vibrant conversations and engagement between users around shared interests,” says Daniel Odio, CEO of Socialize. “Together with ShareThis, we’ll enable app users to easily extend activity out to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — any social channel of their choice — in addition to socializing in-app regardless of friend status.”
Delivering Unified and Creative Solutions for Advertisers
With Socialize, ShareThis will be able to capitalize on the growing U.S. mobile advertising market, which is forecast to reach $4 billion in 2013. With its extended reach, the company will gain better insights into how users engage and influence others resulting in more effective advertising wherever and on whatever device it’s delivered. By combining unified audience insights along with creative executions that leverage the mobile form factor, ShareThis will reach new verticals and cement its leadership in the sharing and mobile economies.
ShareThis powers the social web, touching the lives of 95% of U.S. Internet users across more than 2 million publisher sites and 120+ social media channels. It makes content more engaging for publishers and marketing more effective for brands by tapping into the purest expression of interest-based social activity. ShareThis is the company for those wanting to make the world more connected, trusted and valuable through sharing. Based in Palo Alto, CA, the company is privately held.