San Francisco blogging software company, Six Apart, has confirmed it has raised $12M in venture capital from Intel, Focus Ventures and existing investor August Capital.
Old news perhaps, but we got a chance to catch up with chief executive Barak Berkowitz.
We asked what he is going to do about the barrage spam comments hitting our blog (Full disclosure: We use Movable Type, one of Six Apart’s blogging products). He had an encouraging answer:
He’s going to get a group together to fight spammers. He’s looking to press Washington to pass legislation to ban computer generated comments on blogs. Right now, computer generated spam is legal, and spammers just keep coming up with more sophisticated ways of getting around filters. “I’m going to start getting a group together to take this forward,” he said. “There’s no real advocacy group for blogs, there’s no blogging association.”
We also asked him why Santa Clara’s big chip maker, Intel, had invested, when typically Intel has invested only in companies likely to drive its chips sales. Berkowitz responded that blogging is still in relative infancy, and that future growth with drive broadband usage, and thus chip sales. “Adoption is 20 percent. We know there’s huge adoption left to come…We have a belief that everyone will have a blog at some point,” he said. Bloggers will post more videos and music — and broadband usage will climb further, especially as bloggers go mobile. Mobile phones need chips. (Six Apart just bought SplashBlog, which lets you instantly publish photos from your camera phone to your blog.) And thus Intel sees blogging as a promising growth industry. Cisco does too, but more on that some other time.
In other remarks, Berkowitz said the new funding would allow the company to “continue to take advantage of opportunities as they come up…to improve products or expand into areas markets.” That may include other acquisitions, though Berkowitz said there were no specific deals in the works.
Six Apart has made a big push into corporate sales, especially in Japan, where large firms use Movable Type as a knowledge management tool. The company is also selling “white labeled” versions of its hosted Typepad service to publishers (Knight Ridder, for example, uses Typepad as its blogging platform for its newspapers). Other blogging companies have focused mainly on the consumer market.
The company, which employs 125, is close to taking the wraps off Project Comet, its mainstream blogging tool for adults. Berkowitz said to expect that product sometime in the second quarter.
Main take away for us: This company, and evidently its backers, think the best of the blogging market growth is yet to come.