Is link shortener Bitly raising $20 million in new funding? The Verge says it is. In response to my email, a company spokesperson denied The Verge’s story, but in vague enough terms that it could probably turn around and announce a new round in the next few weeks or months.
Here’s what the spokesperson told me:
Want to quickly let you know that they’re always discussing potential funding and stay in touch with potential investors on an ongoing basis. Though, this article is not based on any facts.
I’ll work with the folks at bitly to connect with you for the next funding announcement, whenever that does happen.
Wait, what does that actually mean?! Well, the first sentence is pretty ambiguous, but it hews closely to the standard non-denial denial that comes when a startup is raising money without having closed the round yet. The second sentence could be read as more definitive, but it might also mean, “Hey, the deal isn’t closed yet — technically we’re still just talking, so the funding isn’t a fact.” After all, what does it really mean to be “not based on any facts”? And what’s a “fact” anyway? Tough philosophical questions.
Altogether, the statement suggests that Bitly has at least had discussions with its investors about raising funding. How far those discussions have gone, time will tell. The company raised an $8.9 million Series B in 2010.
The Verge also says that Bit.ly, whose business has been more focused on enterprise services, is about to launch a new product aimed at consumers.
Update: Apparently Bitly execs have been denying The Verge story more forcefully.