Permuto, a Palo Alto, Calif. company so secretive that it hardly gives any indication of its business on its website, has brought in $6 million in first-round funding to promote websites and applications for free. The primary appeal of the company so far seems to be its prestigious flock of founders, which includes executives from Yahoo, DoubleClick, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft and Excite@Home.

One hint, a job listing on its site is scouting for software developers who “dream of constructing beauty in the form of xHTML and CSS.” Its chief executive is Shaukat Shamim, cofounder of Rhythm NewMedia, a firm that specializes in individually targeted mobile ads.

The investment round came from Onset Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

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