Google invests in Pixazza

Chris Caceres · March 25, 2009 · Short URL:

Pixazza, a service which overlays ads on images, launches today and raises $5.75 million

 Yet another way to try and gain revenue through the declining advertising market has launched today, and received some significant funding.

Pixazza, a service which overlays advertisements on top of static images, has announced $5.75 million in Series A financing from August Capital, CMEA Capital and the all mighty Google.  

Based out of Mountain View, Ca., Pixazza was founded in 2008 by James Everingham.  He recruited a team he previously worked with at Netscape including Bob Lisbonne who was the former Sr. VP and General Manager of Netscape’s browser division.

Here’s how it functions:

On the potential consumer end, Pixazza’s service functions quite simply.  A user sees some sort of compelling image, and as soon as that user hovers over the image, little price tags show up.  When the user hovers over a price tag, a pop up appears displaying pricing information on the product and where they can purchase it.

For publishers, Pixazza offers a simple line of JavaScript they can embed into their page. 

If a user ends up purchasing a product because of Pixazza’s advertisement – Pixazza and the publisher share the resulting commission.

Advertisers already include Amazon, Macy’s, Overstock and Zappos.

Here’s where Pixazza may surprise you.

Being that the company is backed by Google, you’d figure this process of identifying products in images would be some sort of automated technology.  It actually isn’t that it all.  It’s a proprietary technology which Pixazza has called, “Crowdsourcing.”  “Crowdsourcing,” calls for “experts” to sign up and work from home.  Once signed up these experts identify the item in the image and tag it.  Founder James Everingham explained, “No computer algorithm can identify a black pair of Jimmy Choo boots from the 2009 fall collection as well as a person. Rather than rely on computer algorithms, our platform enlists product experts to drive the process.”  Everingham considers this a, “technical advantage.”  To me it seems like a step backwards.

We’ll see what the future for Pixazza holds as they attempt to monetize off of advertising revenue.  All in all, the CEO of Pixazza, Bob Lisbonne explained, “Pixazza hopes to do for images what Google’s AdSense did for web pages.” 

For now, the company will focus on fashion and move onto other potential products in the near future.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes