Tag Archive | "platform"

Is AdGrok Twitter’s next big acquisition?

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adgrokTwitter may be in talks to acquire contextual keyword bidding platform AdGrok for less than $10 million, according to a TechCrunch report.

While AdGrok aims to simplify search engine marketing campaigns, the platform could be adapted and used by Twitter to help monetize promoted and trending tweets.

Purchasing AdGrok could alleviate some of the criticism many have had toward Twitter, which lags far behind the competition in developing a clear advertising strategy for the site.

However, buying AdGrok could also signal that Twitter is ready to start providing statistics and relevant data to its users, which has traditionally been handled by third-party services like Hoot Suit, bit.ly and several others. The company has already started to distance itself from third-party services by apparently developing its own photo sharing feature and improving notification support — so, adding its own statistics wouldn’t be a complete surprise.

The deal has yet to be confirmed by either company, but TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis points out that the last person Twitter corporate development executive Jessica Verrilli followed on Twitter was AdGrok co-founder Argyris Zymnis.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

Netflix: Google’s YouTube A ‘Substantial’ Threat, Says Wedge

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Following Google’s (GOOG) announcement this morning it will integrate “live streaming” capabilities into its YouTube video service, Wedge Partners analyst Martin Pyykkonen today writes that professional content partnerships for YouTube could be a threat to Netflix (NFLX), in fact a “substantial” threat, in his view.

While original content produced for the Web still has to prove its appeal, writes Pyykkonen, “we think the primary opportunity for GOOG is to license professional content which can be monetized through streaming subscriptions and/or advertising supported online distribution.”

Pyykkonen thinks YouTube could “acquire the streaming rights (even if non-exclusive) to a substantial portion of recent film/TV programming assets.”

With 144 million unique visitors at YouTube in the US, as of February, writes Pyykkonen, YouTube’s biggest immediate advantage over Netflix is broad distribution across not only PCs but also mobile phones, tablets, IP-enabled TVs, and other devices.

“Unlike other streaming video competitors, YouTube is on nearly every device platform on which NFLX is running today,” observes Pyykkonen. “We believe that it is this platform distribution in particular that gives GOOG a significant leg up on the competition vs. NFLX. Time will tell how aggressive GOOG will be in competing with NFLX, but we think the threat is substantial.”

Netflix shares today are up $2.28, or 1%, at $236.24.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Offermatic muscles into the group-buying bonanza with virtual coupons

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New group-buying company Offermatic introduced an expanded automatic rebate platform today as it seeks to distinguish itself in what is rapidly becoming a crowded playing field for online shopping.

The company, which came out of stealth mode last month, bills itself as a “Groupon/Mint.com/Blippy hybrid” that doesn’t share user information publicly.

Groupon and other group-buying competitors sign members up to receive deeply discounted offers from local merchants looking to grab new customers and hip reputations online. Mint.com, acquired last year by Intuit, helps users track their finances online, while Blippy allows users to show recent credit-card purchases to friends.

But Offermatic says it uses a new model that improves conversion rates of return customers by 10 to 100 times over existing methods for merchants by linking “virtual coupons” directly to consumers’ credit cards.

The announcements it made today include:

* Partnerships with 150 merchants — that’s up 100 percent from 75 merchants at its launch Dec. 7.

* Members can now get more valuable offers by progressing through different “levels” within the Offermatic platform, unlocking better offers by using their points.

* Members earn points for adding more debit or credit cards to Offermatic, for transactions made using those cards, for inviting others to use Offermatic, and by sharing offers on Twitter and Facebook.

Offermatic enables online targeting of offline purchases – where 94 percent of all commerce happens – bringing the hyper-targeting of Google Adwords to real world commerce.

The company said its new tools will keep it competitive in the increasingly crowded group-buying space as it tries to tempt new members into using technology that makes redeeming offers easier.

“We introduced some elements of game mechanics to the platform that give members the opportunity to use their points to level up to even higher savings levels,” Faisal Qureshi, founder and CEO of Offermatic told me. “With our expanded platform, better deals, and new merchants, Offermatic becomes significantly more competitive.”

The company is currently funded by private angel investors, with seed funding by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Bessemer Venture Partners.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

DataPop gets $1.7M to help marketers create the ads consumers want

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DataPop, a startup that optimizes copy for online advertisements, has raised $1.7 million in a first round of funding. The round was led by Rincon Ventures with participation from IA Ventures, Momentum Ventures, Accelerator Ventures and a group of angel investors.

Using its technology, DataPop can programmatically fine tune ads for marketers. The company combines a consumer’s search intent with business data like product SKUs, price, inventory and geo-specific deals to target ads in real-time. For example, if a consumer searches for a 42 inch screen TV, DataPop may include screen size in the ad, along with where that TV can be purchased and how many are in stock.

Based in Los Angeles, the startup works with retailers, travel advertisers and localized advertisers, such as major car manufacturers with geographically specific promotions. CEO and co-founder Jason Lehmbeck said that though the targeting may make individual ads more expensive than traditional advertising, marketers on average have seen a 30 percent increase in sales and a 15 percent decrease in cost per sale because of DataPop’s creative optimization.

Founded in 2008, the company is currently in private beta but is planning a full release for early 2011, and DataPop plans to use this latest funding to build its engineering team and scale the platform.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

HP Hires Ex-Nokia Exec Jaaksi To Run Web OS Development Biz

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Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has hired former Nokia (NOK) exec Ari Jaaksi to run the software development team for Web OS, the platform HP acquired when it bought Palm. Until leaving Nokia earlier this month, Jaaksi had been in charge of the company’s Meego software platform.
Makes you wonder which platform is more [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily

Search-engine marketing tool Kenshoo raises new funds to fuel growth

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Kenshoo, a company that provides software to help online marketers manage campaigns, has closed an undisclosed round of funding with Sequoia Capital. The company plans to use the funds to grow its client base, deepen profitability, broaden offerings (for example, into social media) and expand internationally.

Kathryn Barry, Kenshoo’s director of marketing, explained that, although the company has been growing exponentially and is already profitable, the added funding would help take the business to the next level. She said the company has distinguished itself with its client base thanks to the flexibility and scalability of the platform and the company’s ability to hire talent. Additionally, the fact that the software supports a multitude of languages has been an added benefit for large multinational customers.

Kenshoo competes with a host of companies, including SearchIgnite and Adobe’s Ominture division.

The company was founded in 2006 in Tel Aviv, Israel and has offices in New York, San Francisco and London. Kenshoo last pulled in funds from Sequoia back in December.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » Deals & More