Russian Venture Company (RVC), a state-owned fund of funds, participated indirectly in a $20 million round of financing, announced last week, for Clearspring Technologies, a US-based online data giant. This fourth round brings Clearspring’s total funding to $58 million since its creation in 2004.
Clearspring is the maker of the AddThis button that facilitates content sharing through social and news networks. The button is offered on over nine million websites and has been used to date by a billion unique users worldwide, according to the company. Clearspring’s platform is connected to over 300 social networks in 70 languages, including Russian.

Clearspring processes a huge volume of data – 10 terabytes per day, reports ReadWriteWeb – about what content is viewed, shared and clicked on by users. The company claims to have “the entire Internet measured in real-time.”

Clearspring connects brands to Internet users based on their online behavior. Clearspring also makes data available to publishers to optimize user experience on their website.

“The hope for the publishing industry is that firms like Clearspring and others will be able to provide enough rich data that advertisers will up the ante on rates for digital content as opposed to print content,” explains ReadWriteWeb.

Russia’s interest in US experience

“The Russian Internet already has services similar or close to AddThis, such as Odna Knopka (“One Button”), Clix or Yandex’s Podelitsya (“Share”),” said Roman Kosyachkov, head of PR at RVC. “Nevertheless, we’re happy to learn from the experience of our foreign colleagues based on the most advanced technologies.”

The investment was made through Russian Venture Capital II LP, a fully owned subsidiary of RVC registered in the UK in June 2010. A few months later, the London-based Russian fund joined Institutional Venture Partners XIII (IVP), one of the premier global later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms.

RVC contributed $10 million to IVP.

Last month, IVP led Sugar Inc.’s round of financing. In April 2010, RVC’s fully owned subsidiary Russian Venture Capital I LP invested $10 million in BrightSource Energy, Inc., a provider of solar thermal power systems.

Sources: IVP, RVC