OneSpot, the two-year-old Austin, Texas, startup that aims to automate content syndication online, has raised $4.2 million from Silverback Silver Creek Ventures in Dallas. I was mostly drawn to this news because founder and CEO Matt Cohen is a friend, and it’s exciting to see an Austin company get funding. For Texas startups, it’s also great to see a Texas firm other than Hunt Ventures and Houston’s DFJ Mercury doing early stage deals.
OneSpot offers a service that provides a feed of relevant stories for a web site or newsletter based on content pulled from more than 250,000 online sites. Site owners using the service select web sites that produce content their audience is likely to find useful, and OneSpot uses that criteria to create a customized OneSpot feed of stories from the 250,000 sites it tracks.
The current version is a white-label solution, and content users can fully customize. With the latest round, Cohen plans to expand the market for the product by offering a version with limited configuration options for a “monthly fee in the two or three digits rather than four digits.” My biggest beef with the product when it launched last June was that it was too expensive for more than a small handful of content sites. (The Wall Street Journal uses the high-end version of the software on several of its blogs, for example.) So, this seems like a good move. However, it will still have to distinguish itself from other content aggregation and discovery sources, such as Techmeme, Reddit and Sphere.