Sulia, a New York-based startup building a publishing platform that could be described as a more-organised, slightly longer-form version of Twitter, has raised another $4 million to $5 million in capital.
Venture capital firm Greycroft Ventures led the round and existing Sulia investor FirstMark Capital participated.
In a release, Sulia says 10 million individuals will see content produced by the site this month – up from zero 18 months ago, when the network launched.
Sulia does not disclose how many account holders it currently has. Much of Sulia’s content is actually automatically pulled from other social publishing platforms, like Twitter and Tumblr.
Sulia is the creation of Jonathan Glick.
Glick is a high-profile figure in the New York tech scene thanks to a successful career that started at AOL, back when it was still a young company, and includes a stop the New York Times. Glick made a lot of money as the number two guy at “expert network” GLG.
(Glick is also married to one of New York’s most impressive angel investors, former IAC M&A boss and Allen & Co partner Shana Fisher of Highline Ventures.)
Glick’s theory for Sulia is that users would rather see their social content organised into channels instead of getting it in a purely chronological order the way they do through Twitter, or through some mysterious algorithm they way they do on Facebook.
Glick also believes advertisers will pay more to stick an ad on a channel with content is relevant to their product than in the middle of a bunch of social updates that might have to do with anything.
Toward that end, Sulia recently launched its first ad product, called “Featured Posts.”
Here’s what a Ford ad looks like in Sulia’s NFL channel:
Sulia has 9 employees. It plans to use the new funding to hire more.
The company’s big challenge remains scaling. 10 million readers in a month is a nice start, but it’s a tiny fraction of the number of people who read Twitter and Facebook status updates every month.
Here is the Sulia press release:
Sulia, the Subject-Based Social Network, Quickly Surpasses 10 Million Unique Monthly Visitors
Company Closes Round of Funding Led By Greycroft Ventures with FirstMark Capital, Village Ventures & Metamorphic Ventures
July 23, 2013 – New York — Sulia, the subject-based social network, announced today that it has surpassed 10 million unique visitors per month after launching just eighteen months ago. Sulia’s channels are high-quality streams of content from trusted social sources on every important subject and story. Growth this year was especially strong: Sulia saw a 140% increase in the first six months of 2013.
Concurrently, Sulia closed their second institutional round led by Greycroft Ventures with Metamorphic Ventures also joining the round, and FirstMark Capital, Village Ventures, IA Ventures re-investing.
“The quality and commitment of Sulia’s investors is really inspiring. They each have a track record of making smart, forward-thinking bets at the intersection of media and technology, and we’re honored to be among those choices,” said Jonathan Glick, Sulia’s founder and CEO.
“The evolving worlds of publishing, advertising, and social networks have arrived at something of an uneasy truce in which all parties are underserved,” said Bo Peabody, Venture Partner at Greycroft Partners. “Sulia represents the next great step forward – a social platform that unifies the curation of publishing, the virality of sharing, and the emerging promise of native advertising.”
Sulia’s channels help users make sense of social content by surfacing the best sources and content on their favourite subjects. Sulia.com has vibrant channels on hundreds of cities, teams, technologies, genres, hobbies, professions and passions.
“As someone who’s been intimately involved in all aspects of digital media and commerce, I’m amazed at Sulia’s growth and prospects,” said David Hirsch, Managing Partner at Metamorphic Ventures. “Jonathan and his team have built a social platform that’s a dynamic publishing tool, a powerful vehicle for branded content, and at the forefront of new trends in media monetization and contextual commerce.”
Sulia is the world’s first subject-based social network. People use Sulia everyday to discover new content and be kept up-to-date on their interests. Sulia was conceived and developed by Jonathan Glick, who helped architect Gerson Lehrman Group’s expert network and ran product development and technology at The New York Times Digital.
Sulia’s executive team is also comprised of media and technology experts. in Google, Microsoft, AOL, Huffington Post, iVillage, Gerson Lehrman Group and other forward thinking technology and business influencers. Sulia is based in New York City.
Greycroft Partners is a venture capital partnership, formed to invest in promising digital media companies. We serve the founders and investors who have chosen us as their partners, and help them to build large, successful businesses. For more information, please visit www.greycroft.com
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