Online publishing service Associated Content has raised $6 million from existing investors including SoftBank Capital, Canaan Partners and *AOL* CEO Tim Armstrong. The company will have now raised $21 million since it was started three years ago. The new money comes a month after Associated Content hired former *CBS* Interactive exec Patrick Keane as CEO.
Associated Content pays contributors who produce photos, text or videos on any subject and then makes money by selling ads around it. The company boasts 1 million pieces of content and 250,000 contributors. The company said it would use the new cash to fund "consumer, platform, publisher and advertiser growth." In a statement, Keane emphasized that the company was also increasing "partner and consumer focus"presumably a reference to the quality of its content.
Staci adds: AC's high-profile board of directors includes Eric Hippeau, Ron Conway, Warren Lee and Rich LeFurgy but one name is missing: Armstrong, who invested while he was a senior ad exec at Google (NSDQ: GOOG), served on the board and was instrumental in recruiting previous CEO Geoff Reiss. Despite initial permission from Google, Armstrong stepped off the board at the search company's request after media reports about a possible conflict of interest with his day job. He was allowed to keep the investment. Now, of course, he's at AOL (NYSE: TWX), which could still be perceived as a conflict but doesn't appear to be an issue with new employer *Time Warner*.
By Joseph Tartakoff