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Title: Clearspring  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Steve Case, Launch pad (disambiguation), Web widget
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Social bookmarking
Industry Computer software
Founded 2004
Headquarters Vienna, Virginia, USA
Key people Richard Harris, CEO
Hooman Radfar, Executive Chairman & Co-founder
Dominique Vonarburg, Co-founder

AddThis is a web technology company based in Vienna, Virginia, United States.[1] The company operates, a widely used social bookmarking service that can be integrated into a website with the use of a web widget. Once the widget is added, visitors to the website can bookmark an item using a variety of services, such as Facebook, MySpace, Google Bookmarks, Pinterest, and Twitter.[2] The site reaches 1.3 billion unique visitors monthly and is used by more than 14 million web publishers.[3] The company changed its name from Clearspring in May 2012.[4]

AddThis's audience platform enables brand marketers to deliver interest-based advertising to social influencers. The company has raised over US$58 million in venture capital. Funding is from Institutional Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, as well as from angel investorsSteve Case, Ron Conway, and Ted Leonsis.[5]


Clearspring Technologies was founded in 2004 by Carnegie Mellon University graduate students Hooman Radfar[6] and Austin Fath in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company began as an R&D and consulting concern focused on commercializing research concepts around the semantic web and social networks. Initial funding came primarily from grants and consulting projects, as well as from friends, family and a US$100,000 investment from Idea Foundry. Its first product was Semantic Start Page, a customizable, browser-based dashboard that displayed information and news. Users could add widgets from publishers across the web and share content across their social graph.

In 2006, the company raised a Series A investment led by Novak Biddle and ZG Ventures, and relocated to Virginia, where it developed LaunchPad, a widget sharing and tracking platform for publishers. The product attracted a US$18 million Series C investment led by New Enterprise Associates.[7] By the following year, AddThis had served more than 100 million widgets to websites, with website growth at 100 percent per month and some two million views a day.[7][8]

In 2008, Clearspring acquired AddThis LLC, the largest link sharing and tracking platform, with the intent of creating a single content sharing platform for publishers under one brand: AddThis. The combined platform per Comscore was 254 million unique users.[2][9] Clearspring CEO Hooman Radfar predicted that the acquisition would "create a large platform of targeted content" that would "capitalize on the next evolution in online advertising—widgets". He said the company would expand from services to publishers and advertisers to include "a simple experience" for consumers."[2] Clearspring upgraded AddThis with widget-sharing capabilities from LaunchPad, then discontinued the LaunchPad offering, reaching 600 million unique users by the end of 2009.[10]

In 2010, the company launched the Clearspring Audience Platform, a service for brand marketers to deliver interest-based display advertising across the web, which topped 1 billion unique users and was used by over 8 million unique domains.[11] Clearspring also led the creation of OExchange, the first open standard for online content sharing. Development partners included Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft.[12] Clearspring acquired data science company XGraph in 2011.[13] The following year, Clearspring raised US$20 million in D round of venture funding led by Institutional Venture Partners. In September, the company hired a new CEO, Ramsey McGrory, formerly of RightMedia and Yahoo!, with co-founder Radfar becoming executive chairman.

On May 10, 2012, Clearspring changed its name to AddThis, its most widely used product. The company launched three sharing and analytics tools: Trending Content Box, Follow Tools, and Welcome Bar,[14][15] as well as supporting content sharing for Pinterest and Web Intents.[16][17][18] In August, the company began offering social login.[19] In September, CFO Richard Harris took over as CEO.[20]

Like button lawsuit

The company is the subject of a lawsuit by Rembrandt Social Media, which is also suing Facebook, for the use of patents belonging to deceased Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer that involve the "Like" button.[21]

See also

For a more complete list of sites, see List of social bookmarking websites


External links

  • Official website
  • AOL Founders Invest in Widgets
  • Wave of Widgets Spreads on the Web
  • New Clearspring tool converts Web sites to widgets
  • Clearspring Launchpad Sends Widgets To All
  • AddThis Indeed: Clearspring Raises $20 Million As It Rides Social Sharing Boom
  • Clearspring Snags Yahoo-Right Media Exec Ramsey McGrory As CEO
  • Sharing on the Web: How, When, Where and Why We Do It [INFOGRAPHIC]
  • Clearspring Buys Data Science Start-Up XGraph
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