RealTime IT News

Next Stop for VCs: Spring Street

Spring Street Networks, the firm that provides the technology powering hundreds of online matchmaking sites, on Monday announced a $6 million round of funding led by Mass.-based Battery Ventures.

It is the first institutional financing round for Spring Street, which was spun off from Nerve.com in 2001. The latest funding brings the total raised to $7.5 million.

Spring Street, which employs 25 at its New York headquarters, said the money would be used to support product development, business development and marketing initiatives. General partner at Battery Ventures, Dave Tabors, will take a seat on the company's board of directors.

The latest cash injection comes at a crucial time for Spring Street, which markets plug-and-play technology for high-traffic sites with online personals sections. With the Web-based matchmaking business hitting its peak, Spring Street Networks is well-poised to capitalize on the wild growth in the sector.

Spring Street CEO Louis Kanganis told internetnews.com the company will zero in on the international market for expansion. "The market seems to be consolidating but there are opportunities on the international market. That's where we're headed," Kanganis said.

The company has already set up the technology that powers online personals for big-name sites like Boston.com, Primedia/New York Magazine and Village Voice Media. Spring Street technology can be found on more than 200 sites, serving more than two million registered members, Kanganis said.

The company sets up the technology for free and takes a cut of the revenues from paid subscriptions. In the online personal sector, end users pay a subscription fee to access and respond to 'profiles' in a database.

Spring Street has aggregated millions of users into a database for networking effect and the technology can allow browsing and contacting between member sites, Kanganis explained.

The company's platform allows partner site to create the look-and-feel for their site, while on the back-end it offers a network effect between partners by leveraging a single database. It lets end-users view other member's profiles, search on specific criteria, and communicate with other interested parties via blind e-mail or video IM chat.

Spring Street's technology uses a credit-based system where users buy a pack of credits and apply them to various services available.