Claria Gets $40 Mil. Backing

NEW YORK Claria said it has closed a $40 million funding round to fuel the development of its Web personalization and behavioral targeting ad platform.

The Redwood City, Calif., company got the funding from Softbank America, Rogers Communications, Asia Pacific Ventures and Sand Hill Capital. Claria executives said they would use the funding, which comes on top of $88 million in previous financing, to complete the company’s shift from the adware business to behavioral targeting. Claria said earlier this month that it would sell its adware business by the end of the second quarter.

As a first step of this shift, Claria said it has created a joint venture with Yahoo Japan and Softbank to break into the Japanese market.

Through its PersonalWeb platform, Claria is partnering with Internet sites to offer users an automatically customized page of news feeds, headlines, travel offers and other information based on their Web-surfing behavior. PersonalWeb uses the same tracking to show targeted advertising to users of the partner site.

Claria has released PersonalWeb in a test form, and in coming months will announce distribution partners. Scott Eagle, Claria’s chief marketing officer, said the company’s research found that only 10 percent of Web users personalize pages, such as through My Yahoo. The rest do not do so either because it’s too cumbersome or they think it will get stale.

“This addresses the issues of that other 90 percent,” Eagle said.