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Jun 12, 2008

NEWS: Widgetbucks Pockets $10 Million in Series B Funding

Widgetbucks Pockets $10 Million in Series B Funding

It’s been quite a busy week for widget companies. RockYou kicked things off by announcing its $35 million Series C round on Monday. KickApps and Clearspring partnered to bolster their respective widget efforts on Tuesday. And now Widgetbucks is announcing that it has raised an additional $10 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Ignition Partners.

The Series B round brings Widgetbucks’ total to just under $20 million (the first institutional funding came from Ignition alone in February 2007).

Widgetbucks claims to have reached 100 million unique visitors in May through its advertising network (the widgets it serves are essentially interactive advertisements intended to deliver higher yields than traditional banner ads). ComScore’s numbers struggle to line up - they show only 10 million uniques for Widgetbucks in March, although that alone placed the company among other top niche networks like Snap Shots and AdOn, all of which appear to have been discounted.

Dean Jutilla, director of marketing for Widgetbucks, says the discrepancy is due to differences in the way ComScore and Widgetbucks track impressions. Widgetbucks pulls its data from its CDM Akamai and tracks globally, as opposed to ComScore, which looks only at US numbers.

Ad network WidgetBucks raises $10M

WidgetBucks, a self-styled ad network for e-commerce widgets, doesn’t offer ads for the sorts of widgets that you see on social networks. Rather, it offers interactive ads that otherwise look like more traditional banner ads. 

Sites can add WidgetBucks widgets to their own sites, somewhat similar to Google’s Adsense. Advertising revenue is based on both cost per thousand page impressions (CPM) ads, which pays based on the number of times an ad is seen by users, and cost per click ads, which pay when a user actually clicks through to another site through the widget.

The Seattle company, which launched eight months ago, says it has grown to a total of five billion ad impressions in its first eight months, and is averaging around a billion impressions per month now. In May, it was ranked among the top 30 US ad networks by Comscore, coming in as the second-largest niche widget maker. Around 100 million unique visitors were served a WidgetBucks ad, which spanned more than 20,000 publishers...

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