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Dec 11, 2008

Tumblr Pulls In $4.5 Million In Funding, Puts Out Premium Services


Tumblr_logoBack in the summer, Union Square Ventures invested in a small financing for Tumblr along with some of our friends.

We didn't blog about it because David Karp, the almost one man band behind Tumblr, has something new coming soon and he ideally wanted to announce everything to the world on the same day. Unfortunately when you make filings with the SEC, they get disclosed to the public and word leaks out. Which is what happened last week.

So what is Tumblr? It's the next logical step in the blogging phenomenon. It allows you to blog quickly, easily, from your phone or your computer, it encourages reblogging and pulling content in from twitter, typepad, wordpress, blogger, flickr, delicious, last.fm, etc, etc.

I have a tumblog at fredwilson.vc which you may want to read instead of this one. You'll get the same content there (or more) than you get on this blog.

Here are some more tumblogs that I like:

Bijan Sabet

Jakob Lodwick
Kevin Rose
Andrew Parker

And to highlight how much Andrew likes Tumblr, we asked him to write the Union Square Ventures blog post announcing the financing. Clearly it's a bit anti-climactic since everyone found out about this deal last week. But Andrew does a great job explaining why we like Tumblr so much and I suggest you all go read it and leave us a comment.

October 23, 2007 Venture Capital and Technology | 28 Comments

Tumblr Pulls In $4.5 Million In Funding, Puts Out Premium Services

Tumblr, one of the companies that significantly lowered the bar for starting a blog, has just raised $4.5 million in a Series B round led by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, the same investors that put in $750,000 in the first round. CEO David Karp says the investment will give the startup a runway of at least two and a half years, and is introducing paid features at the same time.

Furthermore, former Time Warner technology SVP (and current CEO of Betaworks) John Borthwick is joining the board, while former CNET director John Maloney will act as the New York-based company’s President.

Tumblr serves zero ads on it pages, and generated an equal amount of dollars so far. Now, Tumblr will have premium services to make up for that, although it’s unclear what the services will be exactly. Karp did mention they were gonna be ’sexy’, so we’re moderately curious now.

In a release, Tumblr is claimed to have over 15 million monthly unique visitors, but those numbers sound a bit inflated if you ask us. ComScore measures 1.5 million global unique visitors in October, a 300 percent increase from a year ago (see chart). Nonetheless, it had great momentum from the moment it launched in 2007, and there’s still a lot of potential users out there. If they will continue to come, and if they will be able to make the company profitable, remains to be seen.

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