Rolling up RSS

I woke up to the news that Newsgator has bought FeedDemon.

Although I can’t say I was expecting this move, I am also not the least bit surprised.

My good friend Brad Feld is up to his old tricks.  Brad is the master of the venture rollup.

When he finds a sector where he’s early in the development of the market, he gets in, figures it out, builds a management team, and then gets busy convicing others to join the party. That’s the play book for the venture rollup.

It appears that Brad’s convinced the team at Newsgator to do a venture rollup.  Its a smart play because the big guys have figured out how important RSS is and are coming after the early entrants.

Here’s a market share chart for my feedburner feed.  It is based on a sample size of one and certainly isn’t representative, but I bet its not too far from the market as a whole.

Feed_market_share

Newsgator had an impressive 13% share of my feed.  But Bloglines is at 26% (down from almost 40% a year ago) and FeedDemon was at 18%.  My Yahoo is at 7% and gaining fast.

With the FeedDemon deal, Newsgator blasts into first place at 31%.  That’s a big move.

And don’t expect Brad and his Newsgator team, led by Greg and JB, to stop there.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go after the leading Mac reader, NetNewsWire, which would get them to over 40% of my feed.  And add the Mac userbase the party.

Another friend, RIch Levandov of Masthead Venture Partners, joined the party last month and the company has a warchest now.

With Bloglines sold to Ask Jeeves, and with this FeedDemon acquisition, Newsgator is now the dominant independent RSS aggregator.  That’s a good place to be with RSS taking off and my hat is off to Brad, Greg, and JB for pulling this off.