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Summary:

Sphere, a San Francisco- search engine company that specializes in searching blogs, for relevant information has closed a $3.75 million in fresh capital from Hearst Publishing, Trident Capital and About.com founder Scott Kurnit. Sphere, had raised $500,000 in seed capital from Radar Partners , Will Hearst, […]

Sphere, a San Francisco- search engine company that specializes in searching blogs, for relevant information has closed a $3.75 million in fresh capital from Hearst Publishing, Trident Capital and About.com founder Scott Kurnit. Sphere, had raised $500,000 in seed capital from Radar Partners , Will Hearst, True Ventures and other angels back in April 2005. All seed round investors participated in what is said to be an up round. I believe the company is getting ready for official launch.

The company clearly is going to need the cash – it is competing against blog search services from Google and Yahoo amongst others. The company was co-founded by Tony Conrad, Martin Remy and Steve Nieker, who had developed the Waypath service. Since then, Victoria Bianchini who ran the guide program at About.com has joined the company and has about seven employees. I had previewed the service back in October 2005, and I still find their search, well relevant. Mike has a more in-depth and fresher review.

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  1. China Law Blog Tuesday, May 2, 2006

    Sphere is pretty cool, but I agree it is going to have a tough time displacing Google and Yahoo, and Technorati, and Ice Rocket, and Feedster, and …, but I do wish it luck.

  2. can`t see any special features…

  3. BangkokSteve Friday, May 5, 2006

    If there is to be competition it may be around who has the better, smarter algorhythyms. The new webs will be built on them. Sphere’s first steps towards ‘filtering’ the web are great.

    Forget about the web for a sec and note that individual communities have implicit algorhythyms (criterias) that build communities. Can these be programmed in the virtual world? Over time, organically, yes.

    Perhaps Sphere can take a cue from American Idol — call it — ‘Website Ideal’! But the algorhythym works as it produces a Kelley Clarkson and a whole group of young talented singers.

    It seems to be happening with the ranking thing naturally. Just needs to be centralized I guess.

  4. Charlie Cacioppo Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Seeing Scott Kurnits’ name attached to this venture is a good thing. Hopefully he has the input to make this thing happen. Met Scott early in the miningco/about.com days when his visions and marketing savvy, cobbled together a network of content and created a net respected destination.

    I called this “Kurnit 2.0″.

  5. Personal Note: Conrad Got Mailed. – GigaOM Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    [...] at the time wanted to be a relevant blog search and had a working name: Yodel. After raising around $3.75 million in Series A funding, Sphere went through a sea-change, changed its business model, and instead of search started [...]

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