Matt Galligan
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Circa Raises $750K From Group Including Lerer Ventures To Revolutionize Mobile News Delivery

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We’ve learned today that mobile news-delivery company Circa has raised another $750K on top of the $900K raised previously. The company launched its app of the same name, which allows you to follow an often-changing story in bite-sized chunks, only three months ago.

A few more big names have joined in this up-round, including: Lerer Ventures, Advancit Capital, Menlo Talent Fund, Alex Bard and Eamon Leonard. Those investors join individual contributors from its previous 900K raised, including Dave Morin, David Karp and Josh Spear, as well as firms such as Quotidian Ventures and SK Ventures.

When I spoke to Circa’s co-founder and CEO Matt Galligan today, he told me that he’s extremely happy about the growth of its userbase as well as how the app itself is coming along. The team announced version 1.1, which included some design and usability tweaks that Galligan is specifically proud of. Circa currently employs seven non-editorial staffers and 12 others who manage the current news categories within the app.

Regarding the funding, Lerer Partner and former CEO of Huffington Post, Eric Hippeau, had this to say:

We think Circa has developed the right technology and persona to capture a large audience looking for their mobile devices as their main source of news.

photo 2Growth is on the horizon, as far as what types of content you’ll be able to find within Circa. Galligan tells us “Right now, we’re exploring what categories that we want to go into next,” mentioning such verticals as Business and Sports. When thinking about what makes Circa different, Galligan says if you think of CNN as something that has nailed TV coverage of news and Huffington Post as a publication that does well on the web, Circa can be that application for mobile news delivery.

Circa allows you to follow an ongoing story, like Lance Armstrong admitting that he doped during his cycling career. It updates as individual bits of information come in, rather than making you read an entirely new story each and every time. Galligan also says that Circa has been approached by large news outlets that are interested in working with his company to adopt its format.

With the money, it seems like Circa will continue to hire and work on perfecting what it believes will be a format that publications will want to pay closer attention to as time goes on. People who read the news on their mobile devices don’t have a lot of time, and can only read things in short chunks; that’s why services like Twitter and Facebook are so popular. Circa allows you to jump in and out of a larger news story without feeling completely overwhelmed.

Galligan didn’t give me any specific numbers to share, as the app is still young, but says that downloads are in the “few hundred thousands” since launch.