Lijit secures $10 million led by Highway 12

Ronny Kerr · April 20, 2011 · Short URL:

Publisher network and advertising services, wedded under one roof

Lijit Networks, Inc., provider of website search engines, blog search tools and online advertising solutions, announced Wednesday that it has closed a $10 million financing round led by new investor Highway 12 Ventures, with participation from existing investors Foundry Group, Boulder Ventures and Colorado Fund I, managed by High Country Venture.

The growth-stage round, which follows a $6 million Series D from last June, brings Lijit’s total funding to $27 million.

Offering services to both publishers and marketers, Lijit seeks to ensure that the former understand who their readers are and that the latter can find the right vehicle for their ads.

Publishers gain access to a platform with deep statistics and analytics, which are supposed to help them understand who’s reading what and what users are searching for specifically. Lijit just launched a completely revamped Publisher Dashboard last month, giving publishers easier access to all that data.

Marketers, in turn, are better matched to clients in Lijit’s 17,000-strong publisher network based on which readers they would be most effective in targeting.

Lijit says transactions on its advertising services platform have grown 74 percent since Q4 2010. Its publisher network sees 1.5 billion pageviews and 106 million unique visitors monthly. It was three months ago that the company first announced that it had surpassed one billion pageviews and reached 90 million monthly uniques, so the network seems to be growing steadily still.

"Influential midsize publishers are incredibly important to top advertisers based on the highly engaged audiences they attract. Lijit serves this segment of publishers with innovative tools, analytics, and monetization alternatives to Google AdSense," said Mark Solon, Managing Partner of Highway 12 Ventures, in a prepared statement.

The latest round of funding will go toward growing the publisher network even more and encouraging sales of Lijit’s ad services. Founder and CEO Todd Vernon says the company will be hiring another 20 to 30 employees to expand the current 40-person team.

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Lijit's search service enables readers to search blog publishers' posts, bookmarks, blogroll, and more from a widget placed on the publisher's property. Essentially, it becomes a single box to search any published material from a company or individual no matter where it is, be it on blogs, Flickr or other social networking sites.

Lijit's search statistics can be utilized by publishers to better understand what users search for on a particular site when they visit.

In January 2008 Lijit acquired Big Swerve, a blog comment indexing engine that has indexed over 400 million comments across 3 million authors.