Publish2 Gets Funded By Velocity Interactive Group

Publish2, the company that Robert Young and I co-founded in 2007, has been in private beta since late last year.

As anyone who has followed my blogging recently probably knows, Publish2 is long on vision. We believe Publish2 is a BIG idea — a realization of everything I’ve ever written about on the Publishing 2.0 blog (one reason why we adapted the brand).

We’re also long on learning, thanks to all of our dedicated beta testers, our awesome advisors — including Howard Weaver, Jack Lail, Howard Owens, and Beth Parke — and all the insightful comments and discussion around the posts where I’ve been hammering out the vision.

What we haven’t been long on is funding — through our beta development and private beta testing, we intentionally haven’t raised a dime.

I’ve come to see the experience of bootstrapping a company as akin to marathon runners who train at high altitudes, where the air is thin, which forces their bodies to increase the number of red blood cells and improve oxygen delivery to their muscles. Having trained their bodies to achieve a high level of performance with very little oxygen, returning to oxygen-rich sea level can yield significant enhancements in performance.

It’s time now for Publish2 to come down from the mountain.

Today we’re announcing that Publish2 has raised $2.75 million in Series A funding from Velocity Interactive GroupJonathan Miller and Ross Levinsohn will be joining our board (along with Jeff Jarvis and Luke Beatty, who have been close advisors).

We’re incredibly excited to be working with Jon and Ross — they understand deeply the Publish2 vision and have a tremendous wealth of experience with transforming businesses and industries. Publish2 aims to play a pivotal role in the transformation of journalism and the news industry, and having Jon and Ross’ support and guidance is a huge asset in that endeavor.

Here’s how we’re planning to use this funding:

  • Build all of the beta learning into the Publish2 platform, to make it an indispensable resource for the evolving practice of journalism — we’ve got new features rolling out over the coming months and a new design (by Unit Interactive, with Andy Rutledge leading the effort), all customized for one purpose — to help journalism succeed on the web
  • Build a team of journalism innovators, whose mission will be to help journalists, editors and newsrooms integrate Publish2 into their editorial workflow and benefit from being part of larger Publish2 network

One question that’s likely on the tip of everyone’s tongue at this point is — what’s your business model? Although it’s terribly unfashionable, Publish2 does indeed have a business model — it’s still under wraps for now. (As a blogger, it kills me to keep things under my hat, but as a CEO, I just love surprises.)

What I can say is that, as much we aim to create a symbiotic editorial relationship with media companies, we also aim to create a symbiotic economic relationship — we want to be part of the business model reinvention that the news business so desperately needs. (Our funding will also support this ambition.)

Publish2 will emerge from private beta in late spring/early summer, so I’m going to hold off on any further details until that time.

In the meantime, we’re looking for an experienced PHP developer (knowledge of Drupal a big plus) to join our kick-ass development team. If you know — or are — a developer who would find the Publish2 vision compelling, let me know.

Scott Karp

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