Zemanta Raises $2 Million From Union Square Ventures

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Names Todd Sawicki as CEO and Co-founder Bostjan Spetic as CPO

Today Zemanta, trusted content discovery and audience development partner, announced $2 million in new funding from Union Square Ventures and Social Starts. The new financing will enable Zemanta to invest in native and content-based ad technology, expand its platform and partnerships and grow the sales and marketing team.

Zemanta also announced executive leadership changes, naming president Todd Sawicki as chief executive officer and co-founder Bostjan Spetic as chief product officer. Sawicki will build the business, especially as it focuses on native and content-based advertising, while Spetic will continue to build out Zemanta’s suite of products, including Streams and Circles, and drive innovation in its core technology.

“Content has become not only the destination but the ad and most importantly, it’s working,” said Sawicki. “With our growing suite of products, we are building a smarter content marketing ecosystem that is better for publishers, advertisers and readers. At this point, we have built the tools and technology to pair relevant, targeted content that maximizes the value of an audience and will continue on this trajectory of growth. We believe this is the right way to reinforce a brand with the best possible content ads, and what will close the revenue gap for publishers as readers shift to mobile devices.”

Over the past year, the number of publishers using Zemanta’s content discovery products has increased to more than 600,000, including strategic partnerships with VentureBeat and the AP. In conjunction with VentureBeat, Zemanta launched Streams to optimize the mobile experience through an infinite stream of relevant content from partners and marketers. The company also launched Circles, which allows publishers to curate a network of content from experts and influencers who offer trusted recommendations and extend the potential audience reach.

“I see content as the future of online marketing – it will become the atomic unit that is used to drive traffic to pages and subsequently engage in conversations with existing and potential customers,” said Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures. “Zemanta’s Streams is one of the coolest products I have seen this year. It can intelligently express what I believe will create an ideal online marketing environment – streams of contextual organic and promoted content that are natively assembled to drive engagement.”

Zemanta is headquartered in the U.S., with offices in New York and in Ljubljana, Slovenia. To date, the company has raised $8 million in capital and employs 30 people globally, with plans to grow the team over the next year.

About Zemanta

Zemanta offers trusted content discovery and audience development tools, enabling publishers to reach an engaged community and extend content to new readers. With a suite of products and content discovery networks, Zemanta currently has 600,000 publishers that use its technology, ranging from the AP, Forbes and VentureBeat to tens of thousands of blogs on WordPress and Typepad. Founded in 2007 by former journalists and hacktivists, Bostjan Spetic and Andraz Tori, Zemanta is based in New York and Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is venture-funded by Union Square Ventures, Eden Ventures and T.A.G. The Accelerator Group. For more information on Zemanta please visit http://www.zemanta.com.

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Kristin Mitchell
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Todd Sawicki
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