Most people who want to share a funny article or Web video online typically copy and paste the link and send it via e-mail or IM to friends. San Francisco-based software company ShareThis wants to cut out that copy-and-paste middleman.
ShareThis plans to announce Thursday that it's raised $15 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Reservoir Venture Partners, RPM Ventures, and Blue Chip Venture in a second round of funding. Since it was founded in June 2005, the company has drawn a total of $21 million.
ShareThis develops an all-in-one widget that lets people share any content on the Web with friends via e-mail, phone, or text message. ShareThis shows up on the page as a simple icon, but when clicked, it allows users to send the related material (i.e., a story) to Digg, Facebook, MySpace.com, or any number of related social applications. The widget can also keep an account of personal contacts so that users can send an e-mail, IM, or text message with favorite links to friends. (See.)
The company's plug-in is widely used on Wordpress: Tim Schigel, founder and CEO of ShareThis, said that it has acquired 29,000 Wordpress publishers since it launched in November. In the last two weeks, ShareThis has also signed deals with Technorati and Wired, which will use the widget on its story pages. It's in talks with Facebook and others to spread the plug-in for other types of content, according to Schigel.
So far, ShareThis is free for publishers and individuals to use. Schigel said that he hopes to eventually sell advertising or services to publishers. ShareThis, for example, can track detailed information about how people share content on a Web site, and it puts that information into reports for publishers. The company could sell that data, Schigel said.
"There are ways to help boost advertising revenue. We can help publishers drive registration and understand how people are sharing their content," Schigel said.
The company has 12 employees in San Francisco and Cincinnati offices.