NewsGator Funding News, or We’re Gettin The Band Back Together

Today we announced that the company has closed on a $12 million round of financing, led by Vista Ventures and with full participation of existing investors Mobius (Brad Feld) and Masthead (Rich Levandov).

Lisa Reeves, my former colleague at SAP Ventures who left SAP this year to join Boulder-based VC VIsta Ventures, is leading for Vista and will join the NewsGator board. This makes me really excited given that I know what Lisa brings to the table, having worked side-by-side with her for the better part of a decade.

NewsGator is an interesting business when you get beyond the common perception of NewsGator as consumer RSS clients. We have a growing SaaS business that hosts not only content (1.8 million feeds polled hourly, 7 million new content items per day) that we deliver to app companies, our own endpoints, and consumers, but also we host applications as diverse as our enterprise on-demand app and our syndication services (widgets) business that serves major media clients.

The foundation for all of this is a strong backbone in enterprise RSS that we have used to deliver solutions to manage the major aspects of content flows and user interactions. Put another way, bringing a degree of order to the diversity of content that we handle on each side of our business, providing user interactions on top of content (clipping, tagging, sharing), and lastly, delivering content through in-page and viral widgets.

All of this goodness doesn’t mask the fact that we do have some challenges ahead of us, most significantly rationalizing on-premise vs. hosted application delivery. There aren’t a lot of companies that have successfully managed this but we take that challenge with the knowledge gained from previous attempts, and of course intend for a much different outcome!

We are also serving a very diverse client base in several major functional, vertical and geographic markets, which is often cause for useful debate about focus. I enjoy this challenge the most, we have a portfolio of assets that on their own can be valuable businesses, but the opportunity to reuse those assets in different business units makes for a compelling strategy challenge.

I joined this company believing that we, consumers and businesses, as at an inflection point that will affect how we manage content and what users do with it. Since joining I have come to appreciate what a tremendous opportunity our syndication services business has with deliver rich, interactive content on behalf of publishers and advertisers. This funding round is not only a reflection on the company’s prospects and team, but also underscores how enterprise software companies of today can’t have blinders on to the opportunities that their infrastructure and technology brings to other markets and problems.

UPDATE: Greg posts a detailed look at the business and the progress made with the capital we have already raised.