Zoosk, the world’s largest social dating community, today announced it has closed a $30 million Series D round of funding. The round was led by new investor Bessemer Venture Partners, the oldest venture capital firm in the United States. Existing investors Canaan Partners and ATA Ventures also participated. As part of the funding event, David Cowan, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, joins Zoosk’s Board of Directors.
The funds will support the company’s rapidly growing user base, continued global expansion, marketing activities in key geographies, and investments in new features and applications.
“Zoosk has been redefining the online dating experience since we launched nearly two years ago, and singles around the world have embraced our fun, safe, and social network-driven approach,” said Shayan Zadeh, co-founder and co-CEO of Zoosk. “We are thrilled to begin our partnership with David Cowan and Bessemer Venture Partners as we work with our investors and Board to take advantage of the incredible opportunities for growth in the online dating space.”
“Around the world, online dating is an incredibly popular – and successful – way to find and meet someone special,” said David Cowan, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “It is clear to us that Zoosk has created the best experience and platform for the social networking generation.”
Zoosk is the world’s largest and fastest-growing online dating service. Since its launch in December 2007, Zoosk has attracted more than 40 million singles from more than 40 countries. Singles can join Zoosk via their social networking sites by adding the Zoosk application on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, and Friendster, via Zoosk mobile (https://m.zoosk.com), or by signing up at Zoosk.com.
Zoosk recently hit a $30 million run rate based on revenue booked for the sale of Premium Memberships, millions of transactions in Zoosk’s virtual economy, and advertising. Singles can purchase Zoosk coins to redeem for virtual gifts and a la carte premium features.
The Series D funding round brings Zoosk’s total financing to $40.5 million. Investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, ATA Ventures and Amidzad Partners.
Bessemer Venture Partners (www.bvp.com) is a global investment group with offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Mumbai, and Tel Aviv. As the oldest venture capital practice in the United States, BVP has partnered as an active, hands-on investor in Ciena, Ingersoll Rand, Parametric, Skype, Staples, VeriSign, and W.R. Grace, among many others. More than 100 BVP-funded companies have gone public on exchanges in Canada, India, London, and the United States.
Canaan Partners invests in visionary entrepreneurs and provides them the networks, insights and operational guidance required to build high-performance technology and healthcare companies. Founded in 1987, the firm has raised eight funds and completed more than 77 acquisitions and 52 IPOs. With $3 billion under management and a worldwide footprint, the firm’s technology team is committed to catalyzing the growth of innovative companies in the digital media, communications & mobility, enterprise and clean tech sectors. Among its successes are DoubleClick, the leading online advertising solution; Match.com, the most popular online dating site in the world; CommerceOne, the company that pioneered B2B ecommerce; SuccessFactors, the global leader in on-demand performance and talent management solutions; WebLoyalty, a leading provider of online marketing and rewards services; and VOIP equipment supplier Acme Packet, which was one of the top ten performing tech IPOs of 2006. Other Canaan technology investments include Active Networks, Associated Content, BharatMatrimony, Blurb, iYogi, Lending Club, N-trig, ON24, Prime Sense, Tremor Media and Zoosk. Canaan has offices in California, Connecticut, India and Israel. For more information visit: www.canaan.com.
ATA Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on seeking out early stage private companies which appear to offer above average prospects for capital growth. With over $450 Million of capital under management, ATA Ventures focuses on Information Technology (IT) and provides seed capital and early stages of financing to these companies.
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