DataSphere Raises $10 Million to Extend Leadership in HyperLocal News and Advertising

DataSphere Raises $10 Million to Extend Leadership in HyperLocal News and Advertising

OVP Venture Partners Leads Series C Financing Round

Bellevue, WA - September 9, 2010. DataSphere Technologies, the leading provider of hyperlocal web technology and sales solutions for media companies, has raised a $10 million series C round of funding led by OVP Venture Partners to expand further into the $100 billion US local advertising market. OVP joins existing investors Ignition Partners and Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI). The additional funds will be used to scale DataSphere’s business across all functions, accelerate the buildout of community websites and further enhance product offerings, providing additional value to advertisers, consumers and media partners.

DataSphere’s network of over 750 neighborhood websites feature information about local news and events drawn both from community residents and the collective talents of hundreds of top tier professional reporters at its media partners, which include Gannett (NYSE: GCI), Raycom Media, LocalTV LLC, Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI) and Hubbard Broadcasting.

“DataSphere has established itself as the clear leader in providing solutions for media companies looking to become more relevant to their communities and tap into the hyperlocal advertising needs of neighborhood businesses” said Lucinda Stewart, Managing Director of OVP Venture Partners. “Their unique combination of both a technology platform and specialized small business sales team delivers a compelling turnkey solution for media companies looking to generate additional profits from their existing content assets.”

“We’ve been very pleased with the progress DataSphere has made in executing against this tremendous market opportunity“, said John Connors, Partner at Ignition Partners. “The team has an excellent plan for the future that will make them a major player in the local advertising space.”

Over the last 12 months DataSphere has experienced dramatic growth, striking agreements with media companies to provide neighborhood level news to 40% of the US population, reaching over 12m unique visitors across its advertising network in August, and adding over 150 new employees. A further 150 new hires are expected by the end of the year.

“We’ve experienced a tremendous demand for our services and this additional funding will ensure we’re able to accelerate our growth rate to meet the requirements of our rapidly expanding client base” said Satbir Khanuja, CEO of DataSphere. “Having launched over 300 neighborhood websites over the last 60 days, we’re on track to provide neighborhood news to more than 1,200 communities by the end of the year.”

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DataSphere Technologies, Inc. (www.DataSphere.com) is the leading Web technology and hyperlocal ad sales company focused on generating online profits for media companies covering almost 40% of the US population, including Gannett (NYSE: GCI), Raycom Media, LocalTV LLC, Fisher Communications (NASDAQ: FSCI) and Hubbard Broadcasting. DataSphere offers a range of turnkey solutions to rapidly improve website monetization and visitor experience with minimal investment of time and money. DataSphere’s solutions also incorporate broadcast TV content and process knowledge provided by its strategic partner Fisher Communications. The company is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, USA and led by a team of Internet veterans with backgrounds from Amazon.com, IMDb, Microsoft, RealNetworks and AltaVista.

OVP Venture Partners

For over 27 years OVP Venture Partners has led the drive into new, high-growth, complex-technology companies, with a concentration on the Pacific Northwest. We focus on early-stage investing in three core sectors – IT, Biotech and Cleantech. Our extensive experience includes 52 successful exits – more than any other Pacific Northwest venture capital firm. For more information go to: www.ovp.com

For media inquiries, contact:

DATASPHERE:
Erin Coffey Rinabarger
erin.coffey@datasphere.com
(425) 691.1211

OVP VENTURE PARTNERS:
Kathy Love
kathy@gklove.com
(206) 399.9072