Tumblr Raises $5 Million Third Round, With Marketplace Modeled On App Store

When microblogging site Tumblr raised $4.5 million in funding a year-and-a-half ago, it said it was preparing some paid services. Now that the service has secured a $5 million third round from previous backers Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, MediaMemo reports, the company will now roll out some more paid services like digital “stickers” that users can buy from web designers from a still-evolving Tumblr marketplace.

In an earlier interview with the LAT, founder David Karp spoke about his aversion to advertising. But he also appears averse to premium products, such as the “Tumblr Plus” paid service that was proposed and quickly abandoned after users revolted.

Instead, Karp finds the idea of setting up digital marketplaces modeled on Apple’s App Store, which he feels is more in keeping with the Tumblr ethos. About a month ago, Tumblr began letting designers sell “themes” on the site. Tumblr takes about a 30 percent cut of the sales of the “themes,” which sell for between $9 and $49 each. That could change, as Karp said he’s not certain that the designs are necessarily priced right, so expect more experimenting in the meantime.