This morning's feeds carried repeated mentions of a new (and relatively small) investment in a young startup called Zemanta. In itself, nothing that interesting. The story had added bite, though, because the investor was American and the startup European. Not Irish, or Dutch, or British, or French, or German. But Slovene. Around the world, readers scrabbled for atlases; atlases that stood a fair chance of being older than this young and energetic country.
"[Fred] Wilson’s firm Union Square Ventures just announced it’s investing an undisclosed seed round in the startup."
TheNextWeb.org followed up, and reported the investment as $700,000, or almost €0.5M. Mike Butcher over at TechCrunch UK reports the sum as a smaller $650,000. In either case Zemanta has attracted over $2M in the past year, having come out of Seedcamp last year to attract investment from European funds at Eden Ventures and The Accelerator Group. The company's own blog has more on the subject, as does Union Square's Fred Wilson.
Discussing all of this with Zemanta Founder and CTO, Andraž Tori, he commented;
"The money will be used to improve our US business presence.
We'll keep improving our contextual analysis and interface."
An update to Zemanta's core product is expected this week. Tori said,
"In three days we are releasing personalisation - recommendations based on the author's social network context.
Using the author's social network context when doing text analysis and understanding is really exciting new ground!"
Indeed it could be. Andraž suggested that this would be achieved by integrating with existing and future APIs from relevant social networking sites, and it will be intriguing to see how well this works in practice.
And I know where Slovenia is. I've been! :-)
Zemanta Founder and CTO Andraž Tori has an article in the current issue of Nodalities Magazine. In 'New Web Cambrian Explosion' he argues of the need for applied Semantic Web technologies.
A partner from Union Square Ventures will be joining the Semantic Web Gang later this week, for an episode of the monthly podcast that will be exploring investment opportunities in the Semantic Web space.