SponsorHouse adds angels

Loop’d Network announced last week that it raised $800,000 in financing from Tech Coast Angels for its social networking startup.

Loop’d Network is operated by SponsorHouse, which has raised more than $3.2 million from investors, according to regulatory documents.

Loopt CEO Sam Altman did not immediately respond to request for comment.

SponsorHouse, run by CEO Scott Tilton, was launched as a way to connect amateur athletes in such sports as skateboarding, skiing and surfing, to brand sponsors. The company boasts it has made 600,000 sponsorship matches.

The San Diego-based company says it became profitable in December.

“We intended to do another round earlier, but by the September/October timeframe last year, it got ugly pretty quickly [as the economy went sour],” says Tilton. “Instead of raising capital, we decided to focus on operations and get to profitability.”

The company approached both angel investors and venture capitalists, but found its story resonated better with the individual investors.

“We don’t have 10 million uniques on ComScore, and it’s a little frustrating that they [VCs] care less about profit and more about having a boatload of page views,” says Tilton.

Its board of directors includes Tom Horgan, CEO of Acorn Technologies, and Lynn Reedy, a senior vice president at eBay, according to regulatory filings.

The company was sued last year in the U.S. District Court of Northern California by Mountain View, Calif.-based Loopt, a venture-backed social networking startup focused on mobile phone applications. Loopt sought to stop SponsorHouse from using the Loop’d name and sought damages of three times the profit that Loop’d Network had earned.

SponsorHouse filed an answer to Loopt’s complaint, denying the allegations of trademark infringement and seeking a court ruling to finalize the matter.

The two companies settled out of court in December, documents show.

“We’re addressing what we’re going to do about it for the six to nine months,” says Tilton. “We agreed to a course of action we have to execute before the end of the year. It was a fair and reasonable settlement.”

Tilton says the two companies are seldom confused in the minds of users. “At the end of the day, we’re so focused on different categories,” says Tilton. “Our customers and members are two different categories. We’ve figured out a plan and come to terms with those guys.” —Alexander Haislip