Meebo closes $27.5M round to socialize the Web

Online sharing and messaging company Meebo just announced that it has closed its $27.5 million fourth round of funding.

The news isn’t a huge surprise, because Meebo revealed more than a month ago that it was closing the round, though the amount reported at the time was only $25 million. The funding was led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from past investors Sequoia Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Time Warner, and JAFCO.

Why the weird announcement schedule? Chief executive Seth Sternberg said it was because he and the Khosla team wanted to mention the funding on-stage at last month’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, even though it wasn’t quite closed yet. That seems appropriate, since Meebo itself feels like a bit of a Web 2.0 holdover, having been founded way back in 2005, before most of the hot social startups that we’re covering now like Twitter and Foursquare.

The company started as an instant messaging site, but more recently, Meebo has refocused on the Meebo Bar, which allows websites to add sharing and other social features. It’s currently rolling out an early version of a new feature called the Meebo MiniBar that lets users tell their friends what website they’re visiting, which Sternberg pitches as a way for users to discover new kinds of content.

Meebo points to numbers from comScore showing that sites using the Meebo Bar now reach 71 million unique visitors per month, about a third of the total US Internet audience. That reach, and the fact that the bar is onscreen for an average of 60 seconds, makes it a compelling spot for advertisers, Sternberg said.

Khosla’s Gideon Yu, who was formerly the chief financial officer at Facebook, is joining Meebo’s board of directors. Meebo has now raised a total of $70 million.


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