In this Vator Box segment, in which we take a look at one video pitch and discuss the presentation, novelty of the idea, business opportunity and challenges, we have Howard Hartenbaum, venture capitalist at August Capital, join us as our guest host. Hartenbaum's two current investments are Swoopo and Pixazza. He's also well known for being the first investor in Skype.
This week, we take a look at Tribevibe, a young company that has yet to "officially" launch. Tribevibe's goal is to provide analytics to the bloggers, publishers and marketers that want to measure the social Web and the impact of their stories. Tribevibe is developing a "drumbeat" score for bloggers that quantifies and captures their impact across the Web.
Tribevibe was a top 10 startup at Vator and TheFunded's JuicePitcher event last October.
Here are some highlights.
- The presenter, Jed White, was very energetic and confident. He expressed the problem he and his team are trying to solve. But it was unclear from the pitch exactly who the target market is - casual bloggers, online publications, marketers, or all three.
- The service in theory is useful. As Tribevibe explains - about 25 million people (bloggers, social marketers, etc.) face the problem of not knowing the impact of their blog post. If you're a blogger or publisher, it's hard to quantify the "resonance" of your production as it gets distributed across the Web. How many people "digg'ed" a story, or "stumbleupon'd" or retweeted. Tribevibe wants to provide a social media dashboard to see the results in one place. The service also weights the person who's tweeting or sharing the story across the Web.
- Tribevibe said that on average, the 25 million people using the blogosphere to post media, spend about $1800 is spent annually to determine the impact or resonance of a blog post; 10% of the most prolific bloggers spend about $7500 annually to get this information and the top 2% spend $20,000.
- The concept of a "drumbeat" rank is a good one. Tribevibe should consider giving this away to drive users. They can put on their homepage, "Get your drumbeat score for free." This should be a good marketing draw.
- This is a crowded field with a number of companies trying to analyze the social Web. Radian6 and Buzzlogic are two that come to mind. It's unclear whether Tribevibe has what it takes to differentiate itself.
- The business model of charging $20 monthly sounds a bit high to charge casual bloggers. Typepad charges $15 monthly for a number of analytical tools already. That said, there are 425,000 Americans using blog platforms as their primary source of income, according to a Wall Street Journal article published in April of last year. These people may spend a bit more on measurement tools.