Today New York-based Union Square Ventures is joining Eden Ventures and The Accelerator Group as seed investors in Zemanta, the Slovenian startup which to date has raised US$2.2 million from the three investors. Union Square is going in with $650,000. It’s a pretty strong vote of confidence in a startup created by two 25 year old founders coming out of Slovenia who pitched at tiny startup events like MiniBar in London last year, and which ended up as a winner of the Seedcamp competition last year. Plus, this appears to be the first ever investment in a Slovenian tech company by a US venture capital investor.
Zemanta’s service for bloggers – founded by Boštjan Špetič and Andraž Tori – now supports over 10 blogging platforms with the a plugin which allows bloggers to enhance their content with images, links and non-copyrighted content. Currently you can get the Zemanta service as a free plugin for the following applications and services; Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Live Writer, WordPress, Moveable Type, and Drupal.
As Fred Wilson of Union Square blogs today:
“Zemanta is a service that’s focused on helping the blogger/content creator make the process of creating their content simpler and easier. As you write, Zemanta processes all of your text (like a spell checker in a word processing program does) and suggests things to you. Currently, Zemanta suggests stories/posts/research you might want to read as you compose your post, images you might want to include in the post, words you might want to hyperlink out with, and tags for search engines and other services to use to discover your content.”
He calls Zemanta “adwords for content creators” and sees them opening up this contextual recommendation engine to other web apps and services that content creators might like to add into their posts at the time of creation.
The next release of the platform wil shift Zemanta from being a mainly general suggestion service to a personalized one enabling bloggers to upload limit the suggestion pool to their sources as well as search through a Flickr account and point Zemanta to their Twitter account to get related blogs from friends.