iWidgets get funding and new hire


iwidgets_logo_small.gifADOTAS — iWidgets has raised $4.1 million and also announced a new hire.

The funding was led by Opus Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm in Menlo Park, Calif. and University Venture Fund, a collaborative venture between universities, students and private equity funds based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Geoff Katz was appointed to the executive team as vice president of business development and marketing. Katz, an interactive television industry pioneer and digital media veteran, also currently serves on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors. He joins iWidgets after stints with TiVo, DirectTV and brand experience design agency Method.

“The audience has shifted to social destinations,” said Peter Yared, iWidgets CEO. “With these new investors, we are positioned to radically change the way publishers reach their fans online by helping them rapidly join the social media revolution at a massively reduced cost.”

iWidgets’ Social Syndication technology includes easy-to-use wizards and drag-and-drop creative control that creates fully native applications, including different formats for walls and canvas pages, and full access to viral avenues such as newsfeeds and friend lists, opening up a new channel for monetizing content — including online video — on social networks. By embedding native applications on the networks where the most people are spending their time, it can build brand awareness online.

“Major media companies, music companies, retailers, technology companies and enterprises understand the power and reach they can achieve through a truly social application,” said Ken Elefant, a general partner of Opus Capital and member of the iWidgets board of directors. “Peter Yared is an experienced entrepreneur we have enjoyed knowing for years. Our investment will help iWidgets deliver on its promise to bring content to people where they live online and to drive social interaction in an effective way.”

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