January 12, 2011 00:01 ET
Formspring Announces New Product Innovations and $11.5M in Series A Funding to Fuel Expansion of Rapidly Growing Service
With Over 10 Million Daily Responses, Formspring Launches "Respond" Button, Giving Publishers New Way to Seek Direct, Authentic Responses From Its 20 Million Members
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - January 12, 2011) - Formspring, the service that lets millions of people find out more about one another through sharing interesting and personal responses, today announced that is has received $11.5 million in Series A funding, led by Redpoint Ventures. Additionally, Formspring has released a new "Respond" button, giving online publishers and content providers a more meaningful way to spark responses from consumers and increase traffic back to their sites. The Respond button plugs into Formspring's rapidly growing membership of 20 million registered users, who already give 10 million personal responses daily.
Formspring's Series A funding of $11.5 million was led by Geoff Yang at Redpoint Ventures with additional funding from Steve Anderson at Baseline Ventures and a group of high-profile investors. To date, Formspring has raised $14 million in funding. The combined capital will help Formspring stay focused on its ongoing product innovation and efforts to build out its team in San Francisco to continue its tremendous global growth, which made Formspring a top 200 most visited website in the U.S. in its first year.
"Formspring encourages people to reveal their personalities in an authentic way," said Ade Olonoh, Formspring Founder and CEO. "Our vision, to let millions of people around the world share responses and get to know each other better, is supported by focused product innovation, such as the Respond button which adds a new and powerful extension to our service, allowing Formspring members to respond to anything that matters to them across the Web. Importantly, the additional funding will let us to build the infrastructure necessary to scale to meet the demands of millions more people around the world in 2011."
Introducing the Respond Button
Formspring's new "Respond" button is available today to all interested online publishers, content providers and retailers. The Respond button delivers a differentiated opportunity to both content publishers and online consumers to share links and personal responses with Formspring's rapidly growing membership. With the Respond button, consumers have a simple and fun way to share their opinions about anything from news stories, to products, to photos. Publishers using Formspring's Respond button can generate increased traffic as well as increased loyalty from consumers who enjoy responding to questions about the content they care about.
Formspring provided select pilot partner sites The Huffington Post, Uproxx, IGN Entertainment properties IGN and AskMen as well as sharing networks AddThis and ShareThis early access to the Respond button. Sites have full control with the Respond button, which can be placed anywhere -- after a news article, next to a product, or used as a way to ask creative questions to spark conversations and natural responses that consumers in turn share with friends. For example, Formspring uses the Respond button to ask a question of the day such as "What is your favorite video game?" which generates tens of thousands of personal and entertaining responses within a few hours. Sites interested in the Respond Button can find out more about it here: about.formspring.me/button.
"Formspring's Respond button takes a different approach from other popular social sharing buttons," explained Peer Schneider, Publisher and SVP of Content for IGN Entertainment, the leading Internet media and services provider focused on the video game and entertainment enthusiast markets. "Formspring's simple and natural mechanism to respond to content got our attention. We're looking forward to seeing how our audience uses it to spread our content within Formspring's growing community."
"Formspring is a company to watch closely in 2011 and it is with great confidence in the tremendous growth of the service as well as the talent of the team that we chose to invest in the company," said Geoff Yang, Managing Director at Redpoint Ventures. "It's rare to see massive amounts of daily visitors combined with the global scale that Formspring has reached in just one year. Most importantly, Ade's team is laser focused on what will make Formspring stand out and change how people respond to each other around the world, and we are delighted to offer our support."
How Formspring Works
Formspring encourages people to find out more about each other in a simple and fun way. It starts by directly asking people original questions and anticipating their entertaining or revealing responses. Responses can range from straightforward to surprising and can lead to understanding something more about the people you know or find interesting. Members can search for friends on Formspring by connecting to popular social networks including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace as well as all popular email platforms. Formspring provides a sample set of questions to get members started, and from there, people can announce to friends they are taking questions, and begin asking friends and people they know anything. Members can choose whether they allow questions from people who use the "hide my name" feature, or just from friends who ask questions openly. When friends respond to questions, members see their insights and stories on their Formspring home page.
Based in San Francisco, CA, Formspring was founded in November of 2009 by Ade Olonoh. Formspring is a global service that encourages millions of people around the world to respond to one another in an authentic and meaningful way. It starts by directly asking people original questions and anticipating their entertaining or revealing responses. On Formspring, people can have fun, share insights and stories, and relate to the people they know or find interesting. As one of the fastest growing Internet sites in 2010, Formspring has over 20 million registered members who give more than 10 million responses daily. The company has raised a total of $14 million in venture capital from a high-profile group of investors including Redpoint Ventures, Baseline Ventures, Floodgate Fund, Freestyle Capital, Polaris Ventures, Lowercase Capital, SV Angel, Founder Collective, Travis Kalanick, Dave Morin, Kevin Rose, Geoff Ralston and Todd Wagner.