Clearspring Raises $5.5M for Widget Service

Clearspring, which helps content owners widgetize and widget makers hook up with web and desktop distribution platforms, has raised $5.5 million in its second round of funding, for a total of $7.5 million raised.

Clearspring CEO Chris Marentis, in an interview today, suggested his company is serving more widgets than competitors such as Widgetbox, at a rate of tens of millions per day.

New investor Mark Jung, who was formerly deeply involved in MySpace, the contentious home of many widgets, will be driving Clearspring’s strategy as chairman of the board, said Marentis.

Clearspring does not offer a widget gallery or platform of its own, depending on widgetized distribution on its customers’ sites, such as NBA.com (see image above, as it appears on an NBA player page). Starting Tuesday, Clearspring will include automatic publishing to Google, Microsoft, Netvibes, and Pageflakes, with more platforms to come.

Clearspring, which was founded in 2004 by graduate students at Carnegie Mellon, has 20 employees and also outsources projects to India.

The company’s funders now include Steve Case and Ted Leonsis of AOL affiliation, as well Jung, former COO of Fox Interactive, as well as previous investors Novak Biddle and ZG Ventures (led by Miles Gilburne, a former Time Warner board member). The AOL connections run deep, as Marentis (who was brought in during the last round by the investors) was SVP of Business Development for AOL Time Warner.

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