Social media has become critical to the online publishers. It drives a lot of traffic and helps brands build a following.
But it also means that a lot of the engagement happens on another platform, like Twitter or Facebook, instead of the actual news site.
New York-based Spot.IM saw an opportunity to help businesses from Time Inc. to NBC build out a better comments section, in order to keep people on their own sites longer. TechCrunch’s sister publications HuffPost and Engadget are clients, too.
The startup is raising $25 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners to scale its business. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is participating along with Altair VC and Norma Investments.
Spot.IM CEO Nadav Shoval told TechCrunch that his “dream was really to build communities across the open web.” He says Spot.IM “provides technology like a social network.”
He says that the Spot.IM platform is keeping users on sites longer, thus driving more advertising revenue for publishers. Spot.IM has also built out additional ad units for the page. Instead of charging media companies for their services, they’ve worked out a revenue share model.
There are other commenting platforms, like Disqus, but Shoval believes that Spot.IM is the best moderator. Spot.IM uses machine learning to remove illicit comments and spam.
He says that Spot.IM has some new big projects in the works and will be spending the financing on R&D and hiring. “We’re going to launch a major new platform,” he said.
Ultimately, he hopes Spot.IM will help publishers make more money. Spot.IM “really wants to save media,” said Shoval.
Spot.IM previously raised at least $13 million since it was founded in 2012.