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Why Polaris is Backing Sprout

May 13, 2008


Back in 2006 I met Hooman Radfar and the Clearspring team, and posted that they were the most interesting company at Web 2.0 that year.

Since then, “widget” has gone from a hot buzzword to the term commonly used to describe a fundamental shift in the architecture of the World Wide Web: The web’s basic building block is shifting from a “website” with a fixed location to embeddable, portable chunks of content – widgets, gadgets, whatever you want to call them.

We’ve been on the widget bandwagon for some time now, and are thrilled to have found a team in the space to back: Sproutbuilder, who today is announcing a $5M Series B that we led. Sprout has quickly established itself as the early leader for creating, launching and managing this fast-emerging content format, much like our portfolio company Allaire did with website creation a decade ago, and we think Sprout has a similar opportunity to build tremendous value.

Today, an offering like Sprout’s comes not as a standalone software tool, but rather as an online service that continues to support and interact with the content it helped create. And, in today’s open web environment, Sprout both integrates other web services into its own offering, and is embedded into other web apps. Tying in other web services, and serving to help authors distribute and manage their content, we believe Sprout has a real opportunity to become an honest to goodness platform on the web.

For a little more color, I have embedded in the post below a sprout on this funding announcement. (For those of you viewing a permalink, not my blog front page, go here

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