Thursday, February 26, 2009

Imagini comes of age


Alex Willcock's Imagini has always fallen in the 'intriguing' category.
The idea of consumers having a 'visual DNA' is the big idea.
What to do with this concept and the 12m profiles which
Imagini has collected has always been the issue.
Imagini have created some compelling applications which have proven the hypothesis that profiling by visual preference enhances response significantly and is an engaging and entertaining mechanism. Hotels.com's 'Hotel Visualiser' created by Imagini is a superb example of Visual DNA in action. http://hotels.visualdna.com/statement/module/HotelsModule/Hotels_Module.

Others who have used the Imagini approach include: MyDeco, The Army, Nectar, Pepsico and MSN
http://visualdna.com/advertisers/

Imagini has just announced a second round funding of $13.5m
The additional investment comes from Horizons Ventures, NorthZone Ventures and Atomico. See Techcrunch.

I
n addition, Imagini has appointed Dermot Halpin, former President of Expedia Europe, as non-executive Chairman and Board Director.

Prior to joining Imagini, Dermot was President of Expedia Inc. Europe.

Imagini has developed unique technology that offers advertisers, publishers and agencies extremely detailed profiling information about their online target audiences. By offering a series of picture-based quizzes to website users, Imagini’s VisualDNA product creates the opportunity for brands to connect with their customers in a completely new way. The bespoke quizzes can either run on a company’s website, or be embedded into flash, making them easy to distribute through online ad and affiliate networks.

Now Imagini is developing a VisualDNA Plug-In that will allow any website publisher to create their own free online quiz, in order to enhance their site.

Imagini also operates a consumer site called youniverse.com which has a reach of nearly 1m unique users per month, and was recently nominated by BBC Click as 'one of the best sites on the web'.
For more information about Imagini and its brands, visit
www.visualdna.com or www.youniverse.com .
Many readers of this blog may not be familiar with Horizons Ventures.
"Horizons Ventures is a Hong-Kong based investment company focused on early-stage companies in the field of telecommunications, media & technology. With extensive business experience and reach in Asia, Horizons partners and invests in innovative companies that bring about transformational changes to their focus areas. Successful investments and current portfolio companies include Skype, Facebook, UMPay, NBA China, Joost, Lemonade, doubleTwist and Rfinity."

TAG invested in Imagini in April 2007.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Moo sets up in the USA


Moo ships its minicards, business cards, stickers and postcards to over 180 countries. Its biggest market is the USA.
It has now reached a size where it makes sense to send the digital files to the US and print and distribute its US orders from there.

The office will be based in Providence, Rhode Island.

Moo, which was seeded by TAG and then funded by Atlas Venture and Index Ventures in 2006, has grown rapidly through quality product innovation and superb attention to detail in the development of its brand.

The idea of using your business card to do more than provide your contact co-ordinates but to project your brand, content, products is a simple but strong one.
Moo's unique technology allows each card in the pack to be different.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

A simple way to monetise content


Skimlinks is a really neat solution for bloggers and web publishers to earn cash through affiliate marketing without all the hassle of signing up Affiliate networks or retailers.

Advertising CPM rates are going down, publishers are finding it harder to generate sustainable revenue from their content. Affiliate marketing is an increasingly attractive option for website publishers however, it can be difficult to implement and manage, especially where fragmented editorial, technical and commercial teams are involved. Skimlinks looks likely to be a breakthrough for many publishers struggling with these current systems.

Really simple to implement and install, Skimlinks turns normal retailer links found in their editorial content into ‘affiliate links’ automatically. Each time a user clicks-through and makes a purchase, the website earns a commission from the retailer. Skimlink’s new technology means users no longer have to sign up for multiple affiliate programs across many networks, or create and maintain affiliate links as merchants change from one network to another.

Skimlinks provides instant access to affiliate programs of over 9,000 international merchants (even the 30-40% of merchants that do not support deeplinking) across 16 affiliate networks, and all publisher’s links are optimised for the best commissions at any point in time.

Alicia Navarro is the founder and CEO of Skimlinks. She created the business recognising that consumers are no longer relying on advertising to make their purchasing decisions, instead being driven by reviews and recommendations from both editorial and user-generated content. Publishers are embracing this shift by creating useful content, and encouraging their users to do so too, adding links to relevant products and services within the context of that content.
Skimlinks represents a new way to monetise those links, and therefore its surrounding content, by implicitly applying affiliate marketing.

TAG has invested in Skimbit Ltd, the company that has launched Skimlinks alongside Sussex Place Ventures and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and others in its first external equity funding round.
Techcrunch covered the funding round today.

There is a natural affinity with Zemanta, another TAG company, which provides tools for authors (of blogs, emails etc) automatically creating relevant links, inserting images and providing readers with a richer experience.

Clients of Skimlinks already include brands such Channel 4, T3.com, TechRadar.com, the Daily Mail.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

DVDs by Post ..... why not Food?


The LoveFilm, VideoIsland, ScreenSelect alumni have come together to back Graham Bosher and his team to launch Graze.

Graham was one of the co-founders of DVDs on tap.

They sold the company to Arts Alliance who created LoveFilm who merged with Video Island who had merged with ScreenSelect ...you following?

Anyway, Graham latest venture is Graze - an ingenious new way of getting healthy, quality food direct to your desk.

The product and packaging and business model has been designed with superb attention to detail, leveraging the wonderful next day service of the Royal Mail and its newish tariff - pricing in proportion. The Royal Mail, which is currently delivering over 100 million DVDs back and forth for LoveFilm, must be hoping that Graze can similarly change the way Britain gets its lunch time food!

Royal Mail Group LtdImage via Wikipedia

Graze delivers a full letter-box-sized box of healthy food (nuts, berries, dried fruit etc) straight to a desk. Prices start at £2.99 delivered. Users rate the range of over 200 products and choose from 4 different types/sizes of package. Highest rated products get included most often. Delivery frequency, package type and delivery address are controlled through a well designed interactive drag and drop website.

The team has significant experience of designing, developing and running complex operations which give customers complete control and provides great customer service.

The service is still in beta mode and TAG have negotiated an offer for UK readers of this blog: enter code QKX412R - It offers a free box and the 2nd one for half price.

Make that 24/7/365 except when it snows!

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