UPDATE 5/17: Bitly CEO Peter Stern reached out to Betabeat Thursday to dispute much of what was reported in The Verge yesterday. “While I would be delighted to report that we raised a significant amount of money, I’m not in a position to report that just yet,” said Mr. Stern, who did acknowledge that he is in the process of raising funds, but said that has been true since he started his tenure as CEO. The company raised a $1.4 million convertible note in March.
Mr. Stern said Bitly is at work on a consumer product, but the company is not yet willing to discuss it. Last October, Bitly blogged about developing a real-time search engine that lets the company “see into the future.” However, Mr. Stern said, “A Bitly revamp is in the works, but it doesn’t include a viral search, which is only available for business customers.”
Link shortening service Bitly is moving up and out–literally and figuratively. According to The Verge, the company moved out of Betaworks’ offices this week into its own space
, and has also landed $20 million in new funding.
The Verge says the company:
is raising around $20 million in a new round of funding, we have learned from multiple sources. That’s twice the amount the company raised in its last round, and shows a mature startup closing in on a working business model. We also hear Bitly is about to launch some new consumer products, including a real-time, viral search engine.
Despite the fact that Bitly is widely known as a link-shortening service, its main business revolves around a product that allows publishers to track link statistics across the web. Bitly has always had bigger aspirations for itself, primarily as a full-scale viral analytics platform, so the move to build a real-time, viral search engine dovetails nicely with that vision.