More interesting developments for Digg, the Internet curation site founded way back in 2004 that was acquired and relaunched by Betaworks in 2012. The site has announced a “Series A” of $4 million, and it has named its COO Gary Liu as new CEO, effective immediately.
This is essentially Digg’s second Series A — the company in its previously independent state had raised over $45 million, including a $2.8 million Series A. This is also the latest chapter for a company that was dismantled in 2012, with the brand, domain, code, traffic and data going to Betaworks, staff going to the Washington Post, and patents going to LinkedIn.
Andrew McLaughlin, the Betaworks partner who had been acting as CEO since the relaunch in 2012, will now be executive chairman.
This latest funding comes from DG Incubation, the investment subsidiary of Digital Garage, which also invests in Betaworks and will be used to “power Digg’s accelerating growth in users and revenue, the expansion of community and network features, and new products for international markets.”
Digital Garage has been a prolific investor in startups, backing dozens since 2008, including biggies like Twitter and smaller bets like Wikia and backend services like Chartbeat.
The aim of the funding — and it seems for Digg — is to dig into mobile content curation specifically. “Digital Garage is excited to be investing in Digg. We believe that the market for effective curation, especially on mobile, is vast and growing,” said Kaoru Hayashi, Group CEO at Digital Garage, in a statement. “The Digg team has proven its ability to execute on that vision, and we look forward to helping them advance it even further.”
For Betaworks, this underscores how the self-styled startup studio thinks there is a lot of potential and life left in the Digg brand. “The Digg team has done what many thought to be impossible; they have restored an iconic Internet brand with a strong voice, high quality products on web and mobile, and a loyal and growing user base,” Betaworks’ John Borthwick in a statement. “We are serious about Digg’s full global potential, and because of Digital Garage’s formidable expertise, there was no better investment partner for the next stage of growth.” In addition to producing original content, it also curates the wider web through Digg Reader and Digg Deeper.
Digital Garage, in addition to startup incubation, also works on marketing and promotion, and in that sense backing a big brand has potential strategic angles to it. “We are thrilled to be working with Digital Garage to continue building the best content discovery and conversation products on the Internet,” Liu said in a statement. “We’re experiencing unprecedented growth in the volume and quality of online publishing, while also watching both creators and consumers struggle to cut through the increasing noise.”
We’ve reached out to Digg and Borthwick for more information and will update as we learn more.