DataSphere, a provider of hyperlocal web technology and sales solutions for media companies, has raised $10 million in Series C round of financing led by OVP venture partners with the participation from existing investors Ignition Partners and Fisher Communications. This brings DataSphere's total backing to over $20 million. The Bellevue-based company will use the funding to expand their presence in the $100 billion U.S. local advertising market and continue building its platform for hyperlocal news.
Founded in 2006, DataSphere enables TV stations to set up hyperlocal websites and then monetize them. Its network of over 750 neighborhood websites feature information about local news and events drawn both from community residents and the collective talents of hundreds of top tier professional reporters at its media partners. Currently, DataSphere counts Gannet, Raycom Media, Local TV, Fisher Communications and Hubbard Broadcasting as its key customers. Currently on a hiring spree, it expects to add 150 employees to its current 220 by January. But it believes that the big challenge is that, in order to be successful in this space, companies (or individuals) have to possess a wide range of skills and be able to perform at a high level across them all: technology, content, sales, creative and many more.
"We've experienced a tremendous demand for our services. Having launched over 300 neighborhood websites over the last 60 days, we're on track to provide neighborhood news to more than 1,200 communities by the end of the year," said Satbir Khanuja, CEO of DataSphere. With severe competition from blogging networks like Next Door Media to community news networks like AOL-backed Patch.com, DataSphere has devised a "super smart" strategy through its partnerships with existing media companies like Fisher.