Chartbeat, a five-person startup that offers real-time website analytics, has closed a $3-million Series A round of financing from a group of VCs led by Index Ventures and including Ron Conway’s SV Angel fund, Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, Chris Dixon’s Founders Collective and Jason Calacanis. This is the first external financing that Chartbeat has taken — the company was founded by Betaworks, the venture group/incubator run by John Borthwick, which also gave birth to the link-shortening service Bit.ly, and focuses on investments in the real-time web.
Chartbeat, which launched last April, says it is tracking more than 1.2 million concurrent visitors to the various websites that use its analytics platform. Customers include Gawker Media — which has a beta version of the site that displays real-time reader information on its webpages, as shown in the screenshot below — as well as Time Inc., the Chicago Tribune, Starbucks and AOL. The company has 2,500 paying customers for its service, which starts at $9.95 a month (after a 30-day free trial), and wants to use the financing from Index and the other VCs to expand internationally.
The ability to see how users are interacting with their site in real-time is becoming an ever more important feature for content companies (and the web in general, as Nova Spivack described in a recent chat with Om). Chartbeat has graphs and speedometer-style widgets that show exactly how many people are reading a specific article at any given moment (with a timeline that shows activity over a period), as well as useful metrics such as how many are new visitors, and where they came from. It also shows publishers at a glance what their page-load time is. The next step for the company will be to make it easier for content producers to take specific action based on its metrics.
Chartbeat isn’t the only analytics startup going after the real-time market: a service called Reinvigorate just launched this week offering similar features, as well as “heat-maps” to show which parts of a site are getting the most traffic (Omniture has this feature as well). Both companies compete with other website analytics services, including Google’s analytics software (which it acquired by buying Urchin Software), as well as Woopra and Clicky. Google recently added real-time statistics to its Blogger platform, but has yet to add them to its Google Analytics service. Embedded below is a video that Chartbeat produced in honor of its new financing round.
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