SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 25, 2011) - Wordnik, maker of the most innovative word navigation system, today announced that Bradley Horowitz, Vice President of Product Management for Google and longtime Silicon Valley executive, would join its board of directors. This is Horowitz's first board appointment.
In addition, Wordnik has raised $8 million in its third round of venture capital funding, led by new investor Lucas Venture Group. Mohr Davidow Ventures, FLOODGATE, Baseline Ventures, Roger McNamee and additional private investors also participated in this round, which is earmarked to fund strategic growth as Wordnik builds out a range of new product and service offerings. This Series C investment brings Wordnik's total funding to $12.8 million.
One of the most highly respected executives in the high-tech industry, Bradley Horowitz oversees product design for Google's social and communications efforts including Gmail, Blogger, Picasa, and the recently launched Google+ Project. Before joining Google, Horowitz led Yahoo's advanced development division, which developed new products such as Yahoo! Pipes, and drove the acquisition of products such as Flickr and MyBlogLog. Previously, he was Co-Founder and CTO of Virage, where he oversaw the technical direction of the company from its founding through its IPO and eventual acquisition by Autonomy.
"I've devoted my career to finding and working on innovative technologies," said Horowitz. "In accepting my first Board appointment, I now have the opportunity to help guide Wordnik, a company that started with an incredibly innovative word navigation system, as it continues to offer deeper access to discovery and meaning across digital text. I know it will be a very rewarding experience."
"Wordnik has changed the way consumers discover and interact with words by providing the most relevant context and meaning available anywhere," said Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Wordnik. "With this investment from our longtime VC partners and strengthened by the addition of Bradley Horowitz to our board, we enter an exciting new phase for the company, building out our core technology and creating new leveraged offerings for a wide variety of content and commerce partners. Bradley brings us both great product insight and industry expertise, and will work with our founders, Erin McKean and Tony Tam, on future innovation."
Wordnik was launched in 2008 with the mission to help people unlock the value of words and phrases and to discover what information is most personally meaningful. Wordnik's technology provides additional access to content and context from a wide range of sources, including the world's most respected dictionaries, Wordnik users, and from unexpected places like Twitter and Flickr.
"Wordnik.com has offered consumers an easy way to gain more meaning and deeper context around words -- kind of like a 'GPS for words,'" said Jon Feiber of Mohr Davidow Ventures. "The next frontier for Wordnik is to bring the power of Wordnik to a wide range of publishers and other content providers by providing the most relevant discovery experience for their users. We think Wordnik will quickly establish itself as a valuable asset to its business partners, in addition to its continuing as an exceptional consumer site."
About Mohr Davidow Ventures
For more than 25 years, the Mohr Davidow team has invested in early stage startups and worked closely with exceptional entrepreneurs to move innovation forward, and to develop and deliver new, technology-based ideas, products and services. The firm invests in companies that transform industries whether through better infrastructure for our rapidly evolving data-intensive digital world, more efficient power for our planet, or better, more personalized medicine. Category-leading companies funded by Mohr Davidow include: Agile (ORCL); AudienceScience; Brocade (BRDC); Genomatica; Nanosolar; nLight; ONI Systems (CIEN); Pacific Biosciences (PACB); Panasas; ParAccel; Proofpoint; OPXBIO; RainDance Technologies; Rally Software; Rambus (RMBS); Shutterfly (SFLY); Simbol Materials; Ticketfly; Visible Measures; and ZeaChem. The firm has $1.85 billion under management. For more information, visit www.mdv.com.
About Roger McNamee
Roger McNamee a co-founder of Elevation Partners, began his career in 1982 at T. Rowe Price Associates, where he managed the top-ranked Science & Technology Fund and co-managed the New Horizons Fund. In 1991, he launched Integral Capital Partners, the first crossover fund (combining later stage venture capital with public market investments), in partnership with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In 1999, Roger co-founded Silver Lake Partners, the first private equity fund focused on technology businesses. In 2004, Roger and his partners launched Elevation Partners, an investment partnership focused on the intersection of media and entertainment content and consumer technology. Roger is Chairman of the Board at Wordnik.
FLOODGATE is a Silicon Valley based, early-stage micro-VC fund focused on start-ups that fundamentally disrupt existing large markets or create new market categories. The firm currently works with consumer-focused companies such as Twitter, Chegg, ngmoco, digg, Modcloth, Kno, Stipple, and Smule, as well as business-focused companies such as Solarwinds, Spiceworks, Demandforce, Egnyte, and YuMe Networks.
About Baseline Ventures
Baseline Ventures is a seed-stage capital firm founded by Steve Anderson in late 2006. Bringing his diverse experience from eBay, Microsoft, Kleiner Perkins, Starbucks and Digital Equipment Corporation, Steve founded Baseline to in order to help entrepreneurs build and grow their ideas into companies. Since its inception, Baseline is proud to have backed over 30 founding teams in promising software and web companies including Rupture (acquired by EA), Mixer Labs (acquired by Twitter), Sendori (acquired by Ask.com), Parakey (acquired by Facebook), Haute Secure (acquired by Truste), Heroku (acquired by Salesforce), Aardvark and DocVerse (both acquired by Google), Twitter and Trialpay.
About Lucas Venture Group
Lucas Venture Group, LVG is a second generation venture capital firm which is focused on investments which span; mobile Internet, social commerce/networking location-based Services and Cloud specific applications. Their unique network cultivated over multiple decades of involvement in venture capital produces exceptional access to financial and intellectual capital for both their investors and their entrepreneurs. Recent investments include Chegg, Reputation.com and Twitter.
Wordnik is the first word navigation system that helps consumers unlock the value of words and phrases to discover what information is most meaningful and matters to them. Unlike search engines that provide an overabundance of information or online dictionaries that are static or limited to general information, Wordnik helps consumers zero in and fully understand words and content in context. Wordnik's team includes experts in search engine architecture, social networking, computational linguistics and lexicography. For more information, visit http://www.wordnik.com, follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/Wordnik), or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Wordnik's APIs, visit http://developer.wordnik.com. Wordnik investors include Roger McNamee, Steve Anderson of Baseline, Mohr Davidow Ventures, FLOODGATE, Radar Partners, SV Angel, and Lucas Venture Group.