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Ongo, a news sharing site currently in stealth mode, has raised $12 million from a trio of major newspaper publishers, USA Today reported. It wasn’t known if there were other investors besides USAT parent Gannett (NYSE: GCI), New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT), and the Washtington Post Company. The startup is headed by Alex Kazim, who previously ran recently defunct blog aggregator Tokoni. Since launching Ongo about three months ago, a quick glance at San Francisco-based Ongo’s LinkedIn listing shows that Kazim has pulled in about a dozen former Tokoni staffers, including his wife, Mary Lou Song, who is the new company’s chief product officer.
Kazim is best known for his six years at eBay (NSDQ: EBAY), where he held a variety of posts, including SVP of new ventures. His time at the online auction company was interrupted by a two-year stint at eBay’s PayPal, where he was VP of marketing and products.
It wasn’t clear whether Ongo will focus on social sharing tools for newspapers or if it will be open to other publishers as well.