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Kanoodle Snags Sprinks Execs for Expansion Plans

Paid search listings company Kanoodle.com has bagged one round of venture capital funding and three former Sprinks executives just in time for Christmas.

Kanoodle.com, which has been around since 1999, is working to expand its pay-per-click model into content and local targeted sponsored links. The company hired the three new senior managers and opened a New York office as part of its expansion plans.

Kanoodle.com is following the Sprinks model with its content-targeted listings, so the former executives will come in handy. Rather than selecting keywords, advertisers choose categories for their listings. Publishers displaying the ads map their sites to those categories. Advocates of such a system say it produces more relevant associations between advertising and content - thereby producing better results for advertisers.

The new executives, who will head the company's content division, are Lance Podell, the division's president, Doug Perlson, senior vice president of partnership development and operations, and Mark Josephson, senior vice president of marketing and business development. Their former employer, Sprinks, was About.com's paid search unit, which was recently acquired by Google. The three were let go in the transition.

"We believe passionately in the approach we built at Sprinks, segregating between content and keyword searches," Podell said. "We looked around to find where we could take this business that was nascent. We found Kanoodle building up its search capacity and brought ourselves here."

Podell wouldn't say how much money the company received in the funding, saying only that it was in double digits, "more than $9 million and plenty for us to launch new businesses with Kanoodle." Until this venture capital round, led by Insight Venture Partners, Kanoodle.com's only funding came from its founders. The money will be used to expand the company's keyword search business and to start new business lines.

Kanoodle is a second-tier search player, with distribution partners like Dogpile, Metacrawler, WebCrawler, CNET, and Galaxy.