What you need to know - 02/04/11

Ronny Kerr · February 4, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/16a8

Online retail spending in the U.S. last quarter reached record $43.4 billion; Hipmunk raises $4.2M

For Q4 2010 in the U.S., online retail spending reached a record $43.4 billion for the quarter, up 11 percent versus year ago, according to comScore.

Cellnovo, developer of a mobile diabetes management system, raised £30 million ($48.4 million) in a Series B financing round led by Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP).

Earth Aid, a home energy management system, raised $4 million, according to an SEC filing.

Hipmunk, a flight search service that wants to lessen the pain of traveling, raised a $4.2 million round of funding led by Ignition Partners with participation from experts in the online travel space.

Location-based platform LOC-AID Technologies raised $13 million in funding according to an SEC filing

 

Needle, provider of social commerce chat, has raised $2 million, according to an SEC filing.

Popdust, a editorial website focused on mainstream artists and pop music culture, completed a $1 million Series A round of funding led by Lerer Media Ventues.

Chinese online video company PPLive raised a $250 million Series D round from SoftBank.

 

Online auction marketplace Reply.com announced a $10 million investment from Saints Capital and acquired mobile application developer adHUBs.

Storify, a website that allows users to create online narratives out of a compilation of their favorite tweets, videos, and pictures, secured $2 million in financing from Khosla Ventures.

 

Tremor Media has acquired mobile ad platform Transpera. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vator hosted another successful Vator Splash event in San Francisco. The winner: LaborVoices. Check out our notes from keynotes by Pandora founder Tim Westergren and ngmoco founder Neil Young. Or take a look at the ten finalists.

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Ronny Kerr

I am a professional writer with a decade of experience in the technology industry. At VatorNews, I cover the zero-waste economy, venture capital, and cannabis. I'm also available for freelance hire.

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Reply

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

We see a tremendous opportunity to provide access to businesses that need to speak with online consumers to close a deal.

* We understand clicks don’t walk into a store or call on the phone.
* We realize a consumer’s request to be contacted is significantly more valuable than a visit to a website.

Reply! believes it is time that businesses Go Beyond The Click™ and only pay for measurable results. We offer a platform that makes the process of buying and selling leads as easy as getting clicks from Google or Yahoo. Unlocking the potential of performance-based marketing and allowing everyone to profitably acquire prospects has always been the promise of online marketing, and Reply! is making that promise a reality for advertisers worldwide.

The Reply! Solution

* A patent-pending platform that facilitates efficient, market-driven pricing and distribution of online leads
* Dynamic pricing that responds to market conditions
* Sellers: maximize under-priced, unsold, and undersold inventory
* Buyers: set the price based on value to the buyer at any given moment
* Ratings system to communicate lead quality
* Controls to maximize results (budget, geography, quality, lead age, etc.)
* Liquidity in nine categories, access to thousands of buyers and sellers, and over one million leads-per-month. Nine lead types available:
o Automotive: New Vehicle Purchase, Special Finance
o Real Estate: Home Buyers, Home Sellers
o Mortgage: Purchase/Finance, Refinance, Home Equity Loan
o Insurance: Home Owner, Automobile
o Many more categories coming soon!

Go Beyond The Click™ and unlock the potential of the Internet with ROI-based marketing.
You’re in control of Price, Quality, Volume, and the profitable acquisition of customers.

The Challenges with Lead Gen today

* Highly fragmented lead market
* Expensive and complicated to profitably acquire leads
* Tremendous inefficiency and lack of control in acquiring and distributing leads
* Limited controls for both buyers and sellers:
* Pricing is generally static and does not respond to changing market conditions in an efficient manner
* Quality is not communicated effectively, delivered consistently, or reflected in price paid for leads
* Controls over volume, price, quality, and ROI are missing

Challenges for Lead Sellers (Publishers)

* Significant unsold or undersold inventory of leads
* Sub-optimal pricing on sold leads
* Limited incentive to improve quality
* No way to align supply with demand
* Expensive to build and maintain retail and wholesale relationships

Challenges for Lead Buyers (Advertisers)

* Limited control over price, quality, and volume of leads
* Static prices that don't reflect current value
* Unclear quality
* No reliable way to manage lead flow and ROI

The Reply! Difference
Lead Sellers (Publishers)

* Earn a premium price for quality leads
* Increase revenue for under-priced leads
* Eliminate unsold and undersold leads
* Generate leads with our no-cost, plug-and-play technology
* Many lead types available

Leads Buyers (Advertisers)

* Measure results and increase ROI
* Control price, quality, & volume
* Buy leads only when needed
* Cancel anytime without cancellation fees
* Many lead types available

Ngmoco:)

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

ngmoco are creators and publishers of mobile games such as We Rule(TM), We Farm(TM) and GodFinger(TM) for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

 

Pandora

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.


Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.


Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
to consumers.


Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.

Timeline:
• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected
devices.

Transpera

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Transpera helps online video publishers create mobile video channels and generate new revenue. Truly personal mobile video is now a reality. With Transpera’s Bridge System, users program their own channels, enjoy deep integration with their favorite online video sites and share those experiences with friends and family. On-line Video Publishers We provide an easy way to add a rich mobile experience for your users, and in doing so, we extend your brand to mobile while generating new, highly targeted mobile advertising inventory and subscription content services. Mobile Operators We provide easy ways to package and aggregate online video companies on deck to generate new value-added data services and subscription opportunities. Advertisers We provide high value reach to lucrative mobile audiences with positive and compelling inventory that consumers repeatedly use and distribute to their friends, family, and colleagues.

Tremor Media

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Tremor Media (www.tremormedia.com), the leading online video monetization and advertising company, provides brand advertisers with in-stream and in-banner video advertising solutions on top-tier publisher sites with a combined 189.9 million uniques, reaching 90.6% of internet users. Tremor Media’s innovative video ad formats, advanced targeting, and industry-leading measurement tools enable advertisers to deliver efficient, scalable, and engaging video campaigns with measurable impact.

 

In addition, Tremor Media’s Acudeo® technology provides publishers with a full suite of products and services to monetize streaming video and maximize ROI. Acudeo delivers the industry’s most flexible and easy-to-use ad policy management tools and provides access to the industry’s leading revenue sources including turnkey integrations with all major video ad networks, ad serving, and video analytic technologies. With Tremor Media’s Acudeo technology, publishers can achieve maximum revenue while retaining total control and flexibility over their advertising inventory.

 

For more information http://tremormedia.com

Khosla Ventures

Angel group/VC

Joined Vator on

Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in both traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile, and silicon technology arenas but also supports breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies. Vinod was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Vinod has been labeled the #1 VC by Forbes and Fortune recently labeled him as one the nation's most influential ethanol advocates, noting "there are venture capitalists, and there's Vinod Khosla." Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004.

55700

Tim Westergren

Joined Vator on

51210

Neil Young

Joined Vator on

Working on next project. Founded ngmoco in 2008, 25+ Top 5 Apps, first company to have top grossing free-2-play iOS titles & Plus+ Social Network became Mobage West.