We are excited to announce that bit.ly has completed Series B funding. The Series B was led by RRE Ventures, and General Partner Eric Wiesen will be joining the bit.ly board. It’s been an amazing two and a half years since the founding of bit.ly. In 2008, bit.ly emerged as the dominant platform for shortening links in the social web. In 2009, bit.ly grew like crazy and started offering more ways to share and manage links (i.e. with the launch of tools like our popular sharing bookmarklet: http://bit.ly/pages/sidebar). In 2010, bit.ly has become the most successful platform for publishers and enterprises to track engagement using their own branded short URLs.
Growth throughout this period has continued at an amazing rate. bit.ly sits at the confluence of three broad market trends: the growth of content sharing via social services, the growth of mobile, and the emergence of “the web of things”. As these trends move though the market, short links are the addresses that connect people, things and machines. The short link business has now become an established piece of the social real time web infrastructure. The entry of Google and others into this business affirms the importance of the category. At bit.ly, we believe that in a few years every link will have a short equivalent — so our job at bit.ly is clear. We will continue to scale and innovate while providing unparalleled service to our users as the leading independent provider.
So far this year, bit.ly links have been clicked over 40.6 billion times. The chart below shows the daily click volume — what we call “decodes”. The blue line represents daily clicks, through which you can see the weekly variance (i.e. higher click volume on weekdays, lower click volume on weekends) and the red line represents a 3-week moving average. On Tuesday of this week we had our biggest day ever for bit.ly links created. There have been over 4 billion unique URLs shortened using bit.ly. For every unique URL, and for all the 40+ billion clicks, bit.ly offers real time metrics with the simple addition of a “+” at the end of any bit.ly link (e.g. http://bit.ly/djZ9g4+). The bit.ly web site is now the 69th largest according to Google’s Doubleclick adplanner.
Early this year the bit.ly team rolled out http://bit.ly/pro, our white-label service. As of today, we are working with over 3,000 large customers and many small ones, including individuals who want their own custom URL service. Larger customers include Amazon (amzn.to), Microsoft (on-msn.com), Yahoo (yhoo.it), The New York Times (nyti.ms), Pepsi (pep.si), Foursquare (4sq.com), Formspring (4ms.me), CNN (on.cnn.com), ESPN (es.pn), BBC (bbc.in) and NPR (n.pr). bit.ly pro URLs now represent 7% of all the URLs circulating in the social/real time web.
Finally, as I mentioned at the outset, bit.ly has just completed a Series B round led by RRE. We are also excited that AOL Ventures has joined the round, along with the existing investor group who participated: OATV, Mitch Kapor, Founders Fund, SV Angel, Joshua Stylman, Peter Hershberg, David Shen, and betaworks. Eric Wiesen will join Bryce Roberts on our board. Speaking for the bit.ly team as a whole, we couldn’t be more excited about the future — thank you to everyone, especially our users. We work hard every day to deliver a great service to users — this new investment will give us the opportunity to do that even better.3 years ago