Content publishing platform RebelMouse has raised $6 million in an extended Series A from previous investors Softbank Capital and Oak Investment Partners, with additional participation from Buddy Media’s Mike Lazerow. This brings the total up to $18.8 million total for the startup.
An SEC filing first alerted us to the news that something was going on, however this was apparently an exchange of $16 million in stock for the company. Founder and CEO Paul Berry later confirmed to TechCrunch that there had been a growth round that had closed at the beginning of this year.
RebelMouse started out as a way for companies to aggregate their social media networks into a “social front page.” It has since morphed into a full CMS platform for brands and media. But it was just a twinkle in Berry’s eye back in his days as the Huffington Post’s CTO.
Berry built the Huffington Post from scratch back in 2007 after it came to his attention that people wanted to share content on the site. Soon other media sites were asking how Berry could help them do the same thing and RebelMouse was born.
People who create great content shouldn’t have to have the tech team to handle all that for them. RebelMouse founder Paul Berry
RebelMouse now helps startups, media sites and brands build out sites around social media marketing with an easy-to-use interface. It has also added the ability to build mobile applications and native apps through the platform as well as content communities and social A/B testing as notifications get pushed out into other networks.
The idea is similar in many ways to WordPress or Drupal – though Berry contends these other CMS platforms are difficult for those creating the content to operate. “It’s a totally different approach to the same problem,” Berry said. “People who create great content shouldn’t have to have the tech team to handle all that for them.”
RebelMouse introduced The River late last year. This is a content aggregation tool that looks similar to the newsfeed river we display on the front page of TechCrunch. The startup is also working on a few stealth projects with several brands. Berry hinted at something brewing with GE around a new content experience, though he said he couldn’t elaborate on that just yet.
Some of the new funding will go towards improving on the product and to amp up the product and tech teams, but the majority will be used to hire more sales people, particularly those who can go after household brands and media sites. RebelMouse already hired Craig Fanning, the previous Western regional sales director at Adobe, to help it accomplish the goal of bringing in bigger enterprise clients.
“Hiring on the sales team and going for more media and brands is our most important focus right now,” said Berry.