Feeds and commenting aggregator fav.or.it has closed a new round of funding totaling nearly £500,000. The bulk of that has come from angel investors but £125,000 came from the Finance South East fund, a government-backed fund set up to support startup businesses. The funds will be used to expand the development team and also hire a dedicated marketing and sales force.
fav.or.it has thus far been designed to simplify interaction with news sites and blogs. But it’s now adding a new string to its business model: making it easier for companies to track what people are saying about them on blogs, social networks and Twitter. However, this won’t be brand tracking. Instead, brands would be able to pay for channels that aggregate the conversation around their brand/product and use it to engage with customers. Think of it as a centralised command and control system. Sensibly this moves the site away from the advertising-driven model.
Launched in beta in October 2007 and public from June last year, fav.or.it – founded by CEO Nick Halstead – aggregates content from thousands of blogs and websites and streams them into a network of vertical channels. In this respect it’s not unlike a bunch of Google News Channels but the difference is logged-in users can comment on fav.or.it’s platform and the comments will appear on the original blog.
Halstead has also launched a new property, FeedBroker. This separates some of the functionality into a new site which would allow for licensing feeds external to fav.or.it. Feedbroker lets content owners specify terms under which their content may be used and allows them to take payments on a pay-per-post basis, for instance. In other words, fav.or.it wil share ad revenues with publishers, so it’s not just taking the content and re-publishing it.
The whole new push for fav.or.it should help it to differentiate itself from simple “commenting systems” like CoComment, SezWho, Tangler, Disqus (which now makes use of Fav.or.it’s full API for commenting) and Intense Debate.