Betaworks is an American startup studio and seed stage venture capital company based in New York City[1][2][3][4] that invests in network-focused, consumer-facing[vague] media businesses.

Betaworks Studio, LLC
IndustryVenture Capital
Business Studio
Founded2007; 14 years ago (2007)
FounderJohn Borthwick

Its hybrid investor/builder model has led to both investments in fast-growing startups like Tumblr, Airbnb, Groupon and Twitter as well as more exclusive stakes in internally built startups such as Chartbeat, Bitly and SocialFlow. Betaworks was founded in 2007 by John Borthwick.[5]

It has also recently come into the limelight a little more with The Intern podcast, hosted and produced by Allison Behringer. The podcast recounts a young woman beginning her career in the world of technology.[6]

In 2016, Betaworks sold its Instapaper product to the social media scrapbooking site, Pinterest.[7]



  • Giphy lets anyone search for animated gifs on the web. It was born out of an experiment by two hackers in residence, Alex Chung and Jace Cooke, who found it difficult to browse the best gifs on the web. It spread unexpectedly quickly, serving millions of results in the first few weeks. "We could tell it struck a nerve, so we swarmed it," said Paul Murphy, the head of product at Betaworks told The Verge [8]
  • Activate (app) helps people discover and follow their favorite blogs. The site was founded in Sweden and has over 2 million members, 70% of them who follow fashion blogs & over 90% who are female. Shortly after it took $1 million of investment from Betaworks and Lerer Hippeau Ventures in 2012, traffic spiked following Google's announcement to discontinue Google Reader.[9]
  • In July 2012, the company acquired the Digg brand and internet assets for US$500,000[10][11] and merged it with, a social news reading app.
  • In April 2013, the company released Dots, a video game downloaded over 10 million times.


  • Chartbeat, which provides realtime analytics to websites and blogs. It shows visitors, load times, and referring.
  • Bitly, which that allows users to shorten, share, and track links (URLs). Reducing the URL length makes sharing easier.
  • SocialFlow, which optimizes the real-time value of content.
  • In April 2013, the company acquired a majority stake in Instapaper, before selling it to Pinterest in 2016.[12]


  1. ^ Richardson, Vanessa (October 1, 2012). "Betaworks Uses Creative Methods to Find and Fund the Next Big Idea". Entrepreneur. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012.
  2. ^ Perez, Sarah (December 30, 2010). ", Betaworks & NYT's Stealthy Social News Project, Starts Accepting Invite Requests". ReadWriteWeb. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012.
  3. ^ Shah, Agam (March 11, 2010). "Intel Invests in Social Media Incubator Betaworks". IDG News Service Via PCWorld. Archived from the original on January 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Wortham, Jenna (May 2, 2010). "In New York, a Tech Incubator Becomes a Hub of Collaboration". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Hempel, Jessi (January 13, 2009). "Reinventing the tech incubator". Archived from the original on October 20, 2012.
  6. ^ Behringer, Allison. "The Intern Podcast". Archived from the original on 2016-08-28.
  7. ^ Chaykowski, Kathleen. "Pinterest Focuses On Articles With Instapaper Acquisition". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01.
  8. ^ Popper, Ben (20 March 2013). "Betaworks' Giphy takes on Google in the red-hot market for GIF search". Archived from the original on 31 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Bloglovin passes 2M members and buckles down for life beyond Google Reader". 15 March 2013. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016.
  10. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (July 12, 2012). "Betaworks Buys Digg, Will Fold Into". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016.
  11. ^ Walker, Joseph; Ante, Spencer E. (July 13, 2012). "Once a Social Media Star, Digg Sells for $500,000". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014.
  12. ^ "The next generation of Instapaper –". Archived from the original on 2014-08-03.