Chartbeat Raises $9.5M, Launches Engagement-Focused Redesign

Real-time analytics startup Chartbeat is making two big announcements today. The first should be pretty obvious to anyone who uses the service — it’s unveiling a big redesign. And it’s not stopping there, since the second announcement is a $9.5 million Series B round of funding.

The redesign is pretty similar to the preview that I saw about a month ago. The big goal is to start providing numbers that go beyond how many people are looking at a website or article at a given moment. So at the top of the new dashboard, in addition to the familiar meter showing the number of concurrent visitors to a site, there’s a new widget telling you how much time visitors have spent engaged on the site in aggregate — for example, I learned that by the middle of the Sunday afternoon, TechCrunch readers that day had collectively spent two years and six months engaged with our content (which is kind of scary). It also shows the average engagement time per user and per page.

The new dashboard also highlights content that’s getting unusual attention in some way — not just by pure pageview count, but say if a page is seeing a lot of traffic from search, or from social networks. Traffic to the whole site is also broken down based on type (specifically direct traffic, links, social, search, and internal) and compared to the traffic seen by similar sites. Chartbeat is also launching a new dashboard focused specifically on social network engagement, and it’s beta testing a feature to track visitor data for your iPhone app.

Overall, it’s a real improvement. While I don’t think news-oriented sites like TechCrunch will stop focusing on our pageview counts anytime soon, this allows us to take a fresh look at our content, and to measure our success in different ways. (Plus, Chartbeat doesn’t just serve news sites — other customers including e-commerce services like Gilt Groupe and CEO Tony Haile says that all of these new features are the result of three months of intense work, following a team decision that it was time to rethink the product.

As for the funding, Haile says he actually decided to raise a Series B about nine months ago, but took his time finding the right investor. Eventually, he settled on Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which led the round with previous investor Index Ventures. DFJ partner Josh Stein will be joining the board — Haile says he was particularly excited by Stein’s role in building other successful enterprise companies, including Box and SugarCRM.

Chartbeat has now raised a total of $12.5 million. Thanks to the new funding, Haile plans to expand the team pretty aggressively. With a larger workforce and more funding, he says the company will be able to tackle a lot of things that it has wanted to do but previously lacked the resources for — he isn’t ready to get too specific, but he says the big vision is to “blow people’s minds” with data visualization.

Oh, and in addition to all the news, this is also Chartbeat’s third anniversary. To celebrate, it created an infographic charting its growth. Now I’m not thrilled with the current flood of infographics, but as you’d expect from a company that’s built around data visualization, this one’s pretty good, sharing data points that are serious (5 million concurrent visitors to Chartbeat websites!) and less so (61,600 in-office pushups!).