Israel’s Gigya, the widget platform that boosts and tracks the distribution of widgets across the social web, has announced a $9.5 million series B round led by Mayfield Fund. Benchmark Capital and First Round Capital also participated in the round after previously investing $650,000 in a single financing round in November 2006. Rumors claim that the first round was much larger, approximately $4M.
Gigya has been doing a preety job when it comes to widget monetization and its client list can be attest to it: Toyota, Sprint, MTV and widget leader, RockYou are only a partial list. Gigya originally became popular for enabling easy installation of widgets on any social page or blog, saving the user the trouble of copying and pasting codes into templates.
One of Gigya’s latest moves on its battle to become the leader in widget monetization was the release of its widget distribution network, which accroding to the official press release: “…connects advertisers, content providers and social media users, to deliver and track results-driven widget advertising campaigns“. Kimberly-Clark, Jive Records, 360i, and Avenue A | Razorfish were some of the first charter advertisers who followed Gigya in this initiative, in the hopes of achiving viral disrtibution of their widgets accross the web.
The underlying technology used by Gigya is called “WildFire”, previously covered by VC Cafe in 2007. Wildfire has been seeing some good traction, and it reportedly tracks hundreds of thosands of widget installs a day, tracking over than 3 billion widgets impressions per month. You’d think that it translates into money, but that’s not quite the case. Co-founder Rooly Eliezerov told VentureBeat that the company is hoping to break even in the next year and a half.
Gigya’s primary focus since it was founded in 2006 has been positioning itself as the distribution standard for widgets on the web. Now, the company plans to allocate the proceeds towards platform growth, improving its Wildfire technology, as well as its ad network. In addition, Gigya will likely enagage in service agreements with partners who seek larger widget distribution.
Gigya was founded by CEO Eyal Magen, CTO Eran Kutner, and President Rooly Eliezerov, all former employees of Hotbar, the Israeli viral toolbar company. Gigya is based in Palo Alto, CA and holds its R&D operation in Tel Aviv, Israel. The company has 15 employees.
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