Widgetbox, a platform for the creation and distribution of web widgets, has raised $8M in a Series B round of financing led by Northgate Capital and joined by Sequoia Capital and Hummer Winblad.
The company provides tools for both novice and advanced developers to create a variety of widgets, from simple embeddable RSS feed readers (called “blidgets”) to full social network applications for Facebook and Bebo. I first met the WidgetBox team at Bebo’s platform launch event, as it had helped create at least one of the applications that launched there. Out of the 956 applications now available on Bebo, 60% have been created using Widgetbox’s “app accelerator” tool. The company also claims that 15% of the applications on Facebook have been created using its tools.
Since the widget business seems to be a lot about the numbers, here are some more: Widgetbox hosts almost 34,000 widgets in its gallery (the largest gallery on the web according to them) and these spread across over 210,000 domains and created by over 20,000 developers. Every day their widgets are viewed about 12M times. About half of Widgetbox’s advanced developers use Flash, whereas the other half use server-side languages like PHP or JSP. Widget usage on places like Blogger and MySpace is still very strong and growing. Expect to see even greater distribution when OpenSocial finally comes of age.
Widgetbox says that it will use its new funds to scale operations, promote further distribution of its widgets, and develop its monetization strategy and revenue share program. Currently, revenue is only being generated from Facebook applications that have opted in to putting ads on their canvas pages. Widgetbox will be working to create other opportunities for generating and sharing revenue with its developers, some of which will involve advertising and some which may not.