Chances are, you’ve already heard of Pearltrees - possibly because the company caught attention when it sponsored LeWeb in Paris or more recently the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. And if you haven’t, now is the right time to acquaint yourself with the service: the French start-up founded in 2008 has just scored another €1.3 million in funding to change the way you navigate the web.
The social book-marking and navigation start-up – which allows users to organize and share their favorite websites via a system of digital “pearls” – has raised roughly €3.5 million to date. The inital €1 million raised was in June 2008 followed by €1.2 in June of the following year (in addition to some public funding from the French government). As the company seems to have a rather consistent annual funding pattern, we only hope that the valutation or shares aren’t being compromised.
The other rather unique aspect about Pearltrees’ funding is the investors; as it involves love-money, business angels and entrepreneurs, not a single name has been revealed. Normally when web entrepreneurs invest in a company, start-ups don’t hesitate to let the world know who is behind the funding. However, Pearltrees told TechCrunch France that roughly 20% of their funding came through the French wealth tax investment scheme, the ISF, and that the names have not been communicated because of the quantity- not because the company has anything to hide.
This funding will allow Pearltrees to continue their development (the company launched in beta in December) and international growth. Pearltrees is perhaps one of the rare French companies that decided to invest very early on in developing their US presence; the company’s founder, Patrice Lamothe, spends at least a week out of every month in Silicon Valley. Plus, San Francisco seems to be the location stirring up the most content curation services these days – the area in which Pearltrees focuses – allowing for the best web content to rise to the surface.
Ok, perhaps not everyone has a grasp on what Pearltrees is all about – but those which have seem to be die-hard fans. The start-up has confirmed roughly 30% monthly growth since its launch in beta, roughly multiplying their user base by 4 or 5. Even if the company is releasing updates every month, version 1.0 of the product is set to launch at the end of 2010 – stay tuned.