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Retickr turns your RSS feed into a desktop news-ticker

If you feel that your Mac’s desktop is missing a news ticker displaying top stories and your RSS feed, Retickr has got you covered. The company announced Reticker 2.0 and a $1.5 million round of funding.

Retickr is a simple app with a news ticker bar that scrolls headlines across your desktop. You can control what types of news you see, specify RSS feeds from Google Reader, and control the speed of ticker. You can also make the ticker stay on top of all other windows (which can be distracting unless you have a large screen) or you can hide it when you minimize the app.

The colors, orange, black, and navy can be a bit jarring and the app had a hard time pulling the correct thumbnails and titles of the blogs I follow in Google Reader. It seems Retickr works better with the already-available news sources you can choose from when you set it up.

Retickr’s team, co-founders Travis Truett, Brian Trautschold, Adam Haney, and Jared Houghton bootstrapped the business before raising $150,000 in seed money in 2011. The first version of the app was released in August 2011 and faced some mixed reviews from Apple users on the App Store, saying it negatively affected battery life. The company spent the last six months working on improving the app and released 2.0 today.

A search of the Mac App Store reveals that there aren’t many other apps that do what Retickr does. News Ticker for Mac comes close, but just scrolls headlines across your desktop, and it costs 99 cents (Retickr is free for the foreseeable future). No such extension is available for Chrome, and the closest match for Firefox is RSS Ticker, an add-on that displays headlines from your bookmarked sites in your bookmark toolbar.

Now, the company has raised a first round of institutional funding from the same venture capital firm the gave it its seed round, a small incubator in Tennessee called Lamp Post Group. Retickr hopes to use the money to improve upon its product and expand its team.

Retickr is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has a team of six employees. It has raised a total of around $1.65 million in funding.