Search startup Tospy has raised $15 million in a new round of funding. The company, which ranks results based on what’s being shared by “influencers” on Twitter at any given moment, is a rare survivor in the once red hot real-time search market. Several former competitors have moved on to new markets in recent months; Collecta shut down its real-time search engine in January in order to work on an unspecified new product, while OneRiot decided to focus on its ad network and refer its search partners to Topsy instead.
Topsy, however, isn’t giving up: On its flagship site, users can still search for a term and see results ranked by what links are being shared on Twitter. The company’s technology is is also being used by third parties, and Topsy says it now powers “social search” on “hundreds” of sites, including the Huffington Post, as well as properties owned by IDG Media and Discovery Communications.
In recent months, the startup has also expanded its real-time search offerings by introducing “social modules” that publishers can add to their sites in order to automatically feature tweets related to the content of a page, as well as an analytics tool that website owners can use to determine what topics are trending on social media sites.
The new funding round comes from existing backers BlueRun Ventures, Ignition Partners, Founders Fund and Scott Banister; new investor Western Technology Investment also participated in the funding round. Topsy will have now raised more than $30 million; when it launched two years ago, it disclosed it had raised $15 million from its backers.