DataSphere Raises $10.8M to Help Media Companies Manage Hyperlocal Websites (and Make Money)

Bellevue, WA-based DataSphere, an Internet software and advertising sales company, has raised $10.8 million in equity and options, according to a filing with the SEC. The investors in the round were not disclosed, but the company is backed by the venture firm Ignition Partners, also based in Bellevue. John Connors of Ignition is listed on the form as a director of DataSphere.

DataSphere and Ignition Partners could not immediately be reached for comment. According to the regulatory filing, “The total offering amount reflects $8,805,382 of the issuer’s Series B preferred stock, and warrants exercisable to purchase up to $1,999,999 of the issuer’s Series B preferred stock.”

In the past few months, DataSphere’s technology has been used by Fisher Communications and Cowles California Media to launch a large number of “hyperlocal” neighborhood news websites—some 43 in Washington (Seattle area), 38 in Oregon (Portland and Eugene), and 40 in California (Monterey and Santa Barbara).

DataSphere was founded as SecondSpace in 2006 and changed its name last year. The company makes an online platform to help media, real estate, and retail firms do things like manage websites, track audience behavior, and do search and information discovery. It is led by CEO Satbir Khanuja, a seven-year veteran who holds a Ph.D. in ceramics engineering from MIT, according to his biography on the DataSphere website.

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