Surfingbird.ru, the first collaborative content discovery service on the Russian-language Internet, has raised $2.5 million from Russian fund Klever Internet Investments.
The transaction, revealed last week by the Russian business daily Vedomosti, was confirmed to East-West Digital News by the startup’s CEO, Sergey Shalaev.
Launched in 2011, SurfingBird is inspired by U.S. site StumbleUpon.com, which has grown into a major traffic provider for blogs and sites. It was funded at seed stage by Western and Russian business angels before closing a $2.5 million first institutional round in September 2011.
The startup’s valuation has not been disclosed, but an industry expert interviewed by Vedomosti has estimated it at up to $7.5 million pre-money, up from $2.5 million in the 2011 round.
Surfingbird’s free service attracts 100,000 daily active users, Shalaev told EWDN. The company is not profitable yet, he conceded, but close to break-even point. It generates revenues from advertising, providing instruments for highly targeted campaigns based on both declared and behavioral data.
Surfingbird is the only player of its kind on the Russian market, according to Shalaev. However, he sees indirect competitors in news and blog content aggregator Anews.ru and social app Myata.
Klever Internet Investments Limited (KIIL) is the technology branch of a major Russian private investor. Since its inception in 2012, the fund has invested in remote working platform Workle, accounting software publisher Moe Delo, and online real estate listing Choister.ru.
The fund has just acquired a minority stake in CityAds Media, a Moscow-based international affiliate marketing and performance advertising platform, in exchange for a $5 million growth equity funding.
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