The Download: AddThis expands its footprint — here and abroad

September 17, 2012

Social media and data analytics firm AddThis has expanded its footprint — both in the Washington region and abroad — as the company continues with growth plans nearly a year after installing a new chief executive.

The company, formerly known as Clearspring, is best known for a Web widget that allows people to share Internet content on their social networks. It sits on 14 million Web pages and reaches 1.3 billion people a month.

AddThis has now relocated from an office in McLean to a larger space in Vienna near Tysons Corner. Chief executive Ramsey McGrory said the firm had outgrown its digs and needed more space “for the collaboration and fun that fuel  innovation and new products.” (AddThis also has offices in New York and Culver City, Calif.)

In that vein, the office includes a game room with a foosball table, Nintendo Wii and the Xbox Kinect. There’s also a sizeable kitchen where the company provides its workers with lunch from local restaurants every day, free of charge.

But the company is also turning its attention overseas. Executives plan to announce Monday that they can now identify specific audience segments in Europe based on their online behavior, allowing advertisers there to connect with Web users who are likely to be interested in products such as women’s apparel, toys or news.

Currently, AddThis is only capable of identifying specific market segments in the United States.

The company will begin targeting audiences and advertisers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, where its widget touches millions of Internet users, with plans to add more countries down the line.

16 Start-ups get money

The Maryland Technology Development Corp., also known as TEDCO, has sprinkled $1.1 million in seed-stage funding on 16 upstarts in an ongoing effort to establish the state as a hub of entre­pre­neur­ship.

The funds, which for most of the deals totaled roughly $75,000, were divided among firms in fields as varied as education, food distribution, fitness, life sciences and entertainment.

TEDCO invests in early-stage ventures that partner with university or federal labs through its Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund with the goal of converting research into marketable products.

The quasi-governmental group saw its funding lifted by the Maryland General Assembly last year. It’s closest counterpart in Virginia, Herndon’s Center for Innovative Technology GAP Funds, has been making more deals on that side of the Potomac as well.

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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