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Shareholic, making it simpler to share content online, collects $2 million in funding

Posted by Scott Kirsner  November 10, 2011 08:00 AM

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Companies that successfully attain momentum in their marketplace tend to attract "inbound" calls from venture capitalists asking whether they might be able to use a little more rocket fuel.

That was the case with Shareaholic, the small Cambridge company that creates tools for users and Web publishers that make it easy to share content — and analyze what visitors are sharing. Shareaholic founder Jay Meattle writes via e-mail, "We weren't even thinking about raising a round at the beginning of the summer, but our growth rate and traction started attracting a lot of inbound interest in the company." About two million people have downloaded Shareaholic's browser plug-in, which enables content sharing through services like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Tumbler, or plain old e-mail. Through publishers that use Shareaholic's tools, the company says it reaches about 250 million unique users each month. Investors took notice.

Shareaholic's new backers include Dave McClure of 500 Startups; Jonathan Kraft of the Kraft Group; Chris Sheehan of CommonAngels; Rob Go of NextView; Brian Shin of Visible Measures; Dharmesh Shah and David Cancel of HubSpot; Larry Bohn of General Catalyst; and Nicole State of Boston Seed Capital.

"This round will enable us to lay a solid foundation for building the next big company in Boston, by scaling our team and resources to expand on our current traction and growth curve," Meattle writes. "We are hiring across the board with emphasis on engineering. We generate many terabytes worth of data, and are the very definition of a big data company." Shareaholic's basic services are free, but sites must subscribe to get access to more detailed reports about what users are sharing, and how.

Shareaholic had previously raised about $350,000 two years ago, Meattle says. The 7-person company is based at Polaris Ventures' Dogpatch Labs space in Kendall Square, and recently brought on two veterans of Oneforty. Meattle had previously been an employee of Compete and Lookery, and Shareaholic began life as a side project.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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