It is notoriously difficult for browser plugins to gain traction — getting users to download anything massively raises a service’s barrier to entry. But Shareaholic, a plugin that makes it easy to share content across a variety of social and bookmarking sites, has been doing quite well: the company has seen well over one million downloads since launching less than two years ago. Today Shareaholic has annouced that it closed a seed funding round that includes investors Edward Roberts (MIT Entrepreneurship Center, Sohu), Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot), Eric Dobkin (Goldman Sachs), Brian Balfour (Viximo), David Cancel (Compete), Andrew Payne (FanSnap), and Brian Shin (Visible Measures Corp.). The company declined to share the exact amount of the funding, but says that it was “a few hundred thousand” dollars.
Shareaholic’s functionality is fairly straightforward. You find a site you like, click on the plugin’s button nestled in your browser toolbar, and choose which service you’d like to share it to (there’s dozens of options, including sites like Facebook, Digg, and delicious). This functionality isn’t especially unique — there are plenty of other apps that make it easy to share interesting websites and media with friends. But Shareaholic does have the advantage of being compatible with every major browser, including support for IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari. And perhaps more important is the startup’s success at grabbing attention of the browser makers themselves: Shareaholic is a featured Firefox extension (it’s shown on the browser’s ‘Get Started’ page) and Microsoft has previously distributed it preinstalled with some copies if Internet Explorer 8.
Along with its impressive 1 million download stat, Shareaholic has gotten some other notable accolades: it won Mozilla’s Extend Firefox contest last year, was featured in Microsoft’s IE8 keynote, and, yes, it was even mentioned in the book Twitter For Dummies.