Blog Post

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 (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.

8 Responses to “Clearspring Raises $5.5M for Widget Service”

  1. Nice post. How do content owners package advertising into the widgets and not get shut down when an NBA player card widget carries a Gatorate banner with it to the user’s myspace page? Where does the rubber hit the road between the content provider, clearspring and the final publishing environment?

  2. Dave and Alex, thanks for the kind words. We hope that our positioning as an open, measurable, and scalable cross-platform widget development environment continues to be well-accepted. I think that Alex was correct when he said there will be a great deal of growth as this area matures…

  3. Congrats to the Clearspring team. I think the space is still in its infancy and 2007 will be an interesting year as widgets become more mainstream.

    Most people I speak to still don’t know what widgets are. I think vista will go a long way to educating the public (which will still take a while).

    In the meantime I think there are several companies that can be successful if they can get the right content married with a great distribution strategy.

    At we believe in portability of widgets. We enable you to use our widgets to build personalized start pages (public or private), embed individual widgets on your blog / myspace / personal site and in the near future run the same widgets on the desktop leveraging Adobe’s Apollo platform.

    Come check us out at