Posts filed under ‘Sales and Marketing’

Interview with with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit

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Below is an interview with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://www.conduit.com/


TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Conduit: Conduit is the inventor of the community toolbar concept. Community toolbars are a great new way to engage users and drive loyalty as they put the best of any website directly on the users’ browser. Today’s Web savvy organizations are looking for new ways to connect and engage their users, beyond the boundaries of their Web site.

As an example, Major League Baseball launched a ‘Conduit’ for each team in the league so the fans can stay connected with scores, plays, team information, tickets and breaking news on their favorite team, straight from the browser.

Bottom line, a Conduit community toolbar delivers:

  • More Traffic: Drive higher traffic through unprecedented face time, resulting in an average increase of two extra clicks per user, per day
  • Brand Presence: Conduit allows publishers to put their brand directly on the user’s browser
  • Lower Attrition: Retain customers through engaging content, community chat, contests, and more
  • More Revenue per Customer: Monetizing users beyond the boundaries of the Web site. Drive higher spending with more targeted offers and more relevant services delivered via a ‘Conduit’

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TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Conduit: There are several things, but most importantly there are three:

1. Hosted turnkey service approach which eliminates all the challenges of traditional software offerings.

Typical off-the-shelf toolbar building software requires technical resources, constant maintenance staff, and presents issues in regard to user support and security, not to mention their limited component offerings. In the past, these challenges have prevented the majority of smaller websites from building and launching their own branded toolbars.

Conduit dramatically changed the model from traditional software to a hosted, global, turnkey service that is very easy to use, and requires no maintenance or technical skills. This has resulted in Conduit’s community toolbars exploding in less than 18 months to over 5 million users in 112 countries, 125k publishers in 22 languages, and over 30,000 downloads a day. For more details, see our recent milestone news release here.

2. Conduit’s business model is powered by search, which enables us to be completely free to the publisher and yet empower the toolbar with the most required functionality – search.

Conduit monetizes user searches via its Google search partnership, thereby delivering superior user experience despite being a free service for organizations.

3. Conduit supports its customers with a full suite of solutions that walks the user through the entire toolbar creation process:

  • Building (Conduit provides easy to use Toolbar Wizards that make building a snap)
  • Promotion (Pre-made templates for toolbar promotion include banners and download pages)
  • Maintenance (Changes made to the toolbar in the hosted environment are automatically reflected in the toolbar field)
  • Analysis (Reports to help optimize the solution for maximum value to publishers and users)

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Conduit: Conduit is free, hosted, extremely easy-to-use, completely customizable, ready in minutes, guaranteed to be secure, and available in 22 languages. The Toolbar Wizard is easy to use tool for any publisher, despite their level of programming expertise.

There are several key features that have contributed to our explosive adoption:

  • Pre-defined components including customizable menus, news ticker, RSS reader, radio, chatroom, NEW video window, email notifier, weather button, and more
  • Open environment that allows publishers to develop their own custom components using standard web development technologies
  • A set of customizable search tools, powered by Google
  • Cross-platform solution enabling publishers to provide instant availability in IE & Firefox
  • Pre-packaged marketing templates for deployment and promotion
  • Analytics and reports for management of the community toolbar
  • Hosted solution enables seamless and dynamic updates of content, components, and updates
  • 24/7 free support for publishers and users via email
  • Fully localized by supporting 22 languages for the toolbar and its peripheral pages

TechAddress: Who is your target customer or audience?

Conduit: Any website with a passionate community of online users can benefit from a Conduit community toolbar. Our range of customers represents every industry including entertainment, event planning, music, gaming, non profits, libraries, business, news portals, forums, real-estate, legal enterprise and more. While we have leading brands such as Greenpeace, Major League Baseball and REMAX, the largest segment of Conduit customers are “Long Tail” publishers that come from a diverse cross section.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Conduit: Our technology teams are working on exciting product releases that will transform user engagement and communication.

The first is the ability for a publisher to extend their presence beyond the current real estate of the toolbar. With an upcoming version, Conduit will transform toolbars from being a single story house to a skyscraper.

The second will empower a user to benefit from multiple toolbars without sacrificing the browser real-estate typically required, and by eliminating the need of multiple downloads. Users will be able to easily manage and control their toolbar library through this new product.

We are also looking to launch a “smart wizard” that will automatically detect community information and will build it into a community toolbar simply from a website URL. This is part of our commitment to making it easier to build and launch a toolbar.

Stay tuned for these and other exciting announcements coming soon.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Conduit: We envision Conduit evolving into a global leader in marketing platforms for building user-centric applications that drive engagement and loyalty. To that end, we are focused on forging content and product partnerships to deliver the broadest array of content and components to our publishers. From a product perspective, we are focused on being an innovation leader with breakthrough new features regularly added to the roadmap.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Conduit: Historically, toolbars were perceived as a search device associated with search companies, and as such they raised the question of “Who needs another toolbar?” In addition many have a bad reputation for opening up users to outside threats from adware, spyware and malware. Conduit community toolbars are strongly associated with the communities they serve (vs. being a search device only) and address a wider cross-section of information needs which goes beyond the simple search function. In addition, Conduit, delivers a safe and secure user experience.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Conduit: Publisher-focused value creation. If we help our publishers be more successful, then we will be successful. So whether it’s product development, marketing, or support, the company is completely focused on what drives a positive outcome for our publishers. We believe that publishers know what’s best for their users and they want to be able to offer them the very best solutions. Conduit provides them with the full-service solution they need to achieve that. As an example, we worked very hard to secure a partnership with Google, as we wanted to provide the ultimate search experience for our publishers’ end users while still enabling our publisher customers with the ability to embed their own site search into the community toolbar and the search page.

Outside of our dedication to products, our overall guiding principles are fairness and integrity. These are the cornerstones of Conduit. We treat everyone who interacts with the company with highest level of integrity.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Conduit: Our mission is to democratize the building of connected communities, and to enable traditional Web 1.0 companies to become Web 2.0. We aim to provide every publisher with the solutions they need to connect, engage and build online communities quickly and cost effectively.

In terms of innovation, we are the first, completely free service for building a community toolbar, powered by Search. This is a significant value proposition for the market in general but more importantly, for the long tail of the Internet. Conduit is putting a powerful, free marketing platform, previously only available to large companies, in the hands of organizations of every size and capability. This is revolutionary – we are leveling the playing field and doing it with a free, secure service that is backed by a solid business model.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Conduit: Conduit is currently fully funded and has no plans to raise additional capital at this time.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

Conduit: The company was founded in 2005; however, we just recently launched an official marketing campaign in November, 2006. Incredibly, Conduit has grown virally from 0 to 125,000 website publisher customers and 5,000,000 users in less than two years.

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January 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm 18 comments

Corporate Profile – Mochila

Company: Mochila, Inc.

Company logo: 

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Location: Headquartered in New York, NY

Launch Date:  Founded in 2001

In the company’s own words, what is it?  Founded in 2001 as a publishing automation software company, today Mochila is an online content marketplace for publishers, editors, creators and advertisers. Designed to be first to market, Mochila leverages the power of the Internet to facilitate the acquisition and sale of high quality content that includes articles, photography and soon video and audio.

Mochila‘s executive team and advisors are distinguished media and technology veterans who have observed a shift in the publishing landscape, including huge growth in certain sectors. Last year approximately 16.8 billion words and 1.8 billion photos and graphics were sold over wire services such as the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Reuters. Combine those numbers with audio and video sales, and the world spent just under $2 billion on syndicated news content last year. This market is expected to grow to $3 billion by 2008. Additionally, niche publications will spend nearly $3 billion on outsourced content. The explosion of blogs, web sites, and online newsletters promises to further fuel market growth.

Responding to the evolution of publishing, Mochila provides a resource for selling and acquiring content in ways that can greatly enhance efficiency and revenue. Founded on principles of trust and integrity, Mochila builds value, protects licensing rights and offers safe access and convenience to all who join.

Mochila is a technological breakthrough for the publishing world, combining rock solid data and license management capabilities with advanced search engine and e-commerce technologies. Created to be first to market, Mochila allows content to be an asset that can be monetized with greatly expanded revenue potential for everyone who participates in the new media marketplace.

Outside quote about company:  “Quigo’s Adsonar platform offers unparalleled control and transparency for pay per click advertisers and content publishers, so it truly is the right fit for Mochila’s transparent content-syndication marketplace,” says Henry Vogel, Quigo’s Chief Revenue Officer.

Features: 
* first global online media marketplace for print, audio, video, and photo content
* offers simple but powerful tools for content sellers to set licensing rules
* offers Mochila AdMatch

Screen Shots:

mochila-site.JPGmochila-site2.JPG

Management/Directors:
Keith McAllister, Chief Executive Officer
Benjamin Chen, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer
Carolyn Bekkedahl, VP Business Development
Jason Oliver, VP Marketing
Tushar Patel, VP of Engineering and Technical Operations
Bill Lindsey, VP Architecture

Relevant Links: 
http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb060403-2.shtml
http://mochila.com/company_press011707.html
http://mochila.com/company_press010107.html
http://mochila.com/company_press100606.html

January 24, 2007 at 1:52 pm Leave a comment

Corporate Profile – Piczo

Company: Piczo, Inc.

Company logo:

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Location: San Francisco, CA

Launch Date: Formed in 2004; formally launched in U.S. in September, 2006

In the company’s own words, what is it? Piczo has created a space that gives teens around the world the freedom and tools to express themselves and connect with friends in a safer social networking environment.

Piczo allows its users to create fully customizable personal websites that do not require any understanding of html code. Users share their life stories with friends by designing their sites with multiple pages featuring photos, graphics, guest books, comment boards, music, and more. Each site can be linked to other friends’ sites and users can interact with them and their friends, and meet new people online.

Since its launch less than two years ago, Piczo has grown to over 10 million monthly unique visitors and 2.5 billion monthly page views solely through the viral efforts of its loyal members. Rave reviews from these users claim that Piczo is unmatched in the control it offers over their sites, ease-of-use, and ‘walled-garden’ approach with no searching for users.

Outside quote about company: “We are attracted to Piczo‘s approach for a safer online environment in the social networking space. The demographic that Piczo has attracted, the younger teen audience, is quickly claiming the web as their own medium. Marketers and media companies covet this demographic and we are pleased to be part of Piczo’s continued growth,” said Paul Matteucci, general partner, U.S. Venture Partners.

Features:
* create your own website and web address
* manage your homepage and page list
* upload pictures and music videos
* create a guestbook, comment board and journal
* it’s free and easy

Screen Shots:

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Management/Directors:
Jeremy Verba, CEO
Jim Conning, Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Jeanine LeFlore, Vice President of Products
Michael J. Sherf, Vice President of Technical Operations
Paul Remer, Vice President of Business Development
Peter J. van Pruissen, Vice President of Finance
Geoff Judge, Chief Revenue Officer
Chris Seth, UK Managing Director

Relevant Links:
http://www.piczoinc.com/piczoFunding.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2095-2496035.html
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21024303-7582,00.html

http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2007/01/18/teen-focused-online-social-network-piczo-raises-11-million

January 19, 2007 at 3:18 pm 10 comments

Pixsy Launches PixsyPower and PhotoSense

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Pixsy Launches PixsyPower and PhotoSense
Media Search Technology Now Available to all Websites; Unveils Search Engine Ad Unit
San Francisco, CA — Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pixsy Corporation, a next-generation media search platform that powers private label image and video search engines, today announced PixsyPower, a suite of media search tools and widgets for website publishers of all sizes. PixsyPower tools enable website publishers to increase their site traffic by offering unique content and media search functionality to their visitors.

PixsyPower enables bloggers, social networking sites, or any website to run private label photo and video search engines and widgets on their sites by simply signing up for free at PixsyPower.com. Image and video search are the fastest growing search verticals on the web and PixsyPower enables any website publisher to tap into this popular consumer activity within their own site. With three easy steps, Pixsy’s image and video search engine and widgets can be deployed on any website with content customized to the specific topic of their site. The service also provides a set of reporting tools to track visitor activities and search patterns.

“Pixsy’s business model of using media search tools to create search traffic on websites is a unique and effective way of generating new targeted advertising inventory across the web,” said Jack Klues, Chairman, Publicis Groupe Media. “We believe that Pixsy is well positioned to significantly exploit this growing market.”

Pixsy PhotoSense
The PixsyPower service features the new Pixsy PhotoSense tool, allowing publishers to select a category or specific provider and create an advertising unit that can be dropped into their site. This ad unit changes dynamically to deliver fresh and interesting visual content, changing all the time. Whether the topic is news, sports, celebrities or entertainment, PhotoSense enables publishers to customize their images and videos, as well as select their content providers and categories. PhotoSense is available in all major IAB size ad units.

With the new Pixsy PhotoSense Search Widget, website publishers can run a full blown media search engine inside their site. Photo and video searches can be performed and viewed directly inside the widget. For example, a travel website can have a travel photo and video search engine directly inside their site, with photo and video results showing up inside the widget on the site.

PixsyPower is the next breakthrough in the evolution of our media search distribution business,” said Chase Norlin, CEO, Pixsy Corporation. “Media search should be in the hands of all website operators, not just the big search portals.”

About Pixsy
Pixsy Corporation is a next-generation media search platform that powers private label image and video search engines for online publishers. Pixsy has offices in San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA and was founded by a team of engineers and business leaders hailing from Microsoft, Sony, and ValueClick.

Contact:
Pixsy Corporation
Lauren Karp
415.533.4000
lauren[at]pixsy.com

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January 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm Leave a comment

Corporate Profile – FeedBurner, Inc.

Company: FeedBurner, Inc.

Company logo:

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Location: Headquartered in Chicago, IL

Launch Date:
February, 2004

In the company’s own words, what is it? FeedBurner is the leading provider of media distribution and audience engagement services for blogs and RSS feeds. Our Web-based tools help bloggers, podcasters and commercial publishers promote, deliver and profit from their content on the Web.

FeedBurner also offers the largest feed and blog advertising network that brings together an unprecedented caliber of content aggregated from the world’s most recognized media companies (e.g. Wall Street Journal Online, Wired News, Ziff Davis), A-list bloggers and blog networks and individual publishers from around the world.

Outside quote about company: Raanan Bar-Cohen, director of product strategy at Dow Jones Online said, “Our adoption of FeedFlare, coupled with FeedBurner’s growing suite of tools that leverage RSS, will yield tremendous benefits for our audience and advertisers. Working with FeedBurner gives us the ability to rapidly test and deploy integrated offerings in our feeds, providing the flexibility and speed that is critical in today’s media marketplace.”

Features:
* Exceptional network of publishers
* Media is priced on a CPM basis, and ads are targeted by content channel
* Self-serve ad creation and performance monitoring
* Full third-party ad serving support

Screen Shots:

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Management/Directors:
Dick Costolo, co-founder and CEO
Eric Lunt, co-founder and CTO
Steve Olechowski, co-founder and COO
Matt Shobe, co-founder and Chief Design Officer

Relevant Links:
http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/pressreleases?release=feedburner_delivering_feeds_an.jsp
http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/pressreleases?release=dow_jones_online_selects_feedb_1.jsp
http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/pressreleases?release=twenty_of_the_worlds_top_blog.jsp
http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/pressreleases?release=feedburner_wins_chicago_innova.jsp

January 8, 2007 at 4:07 pm 1 comment

Interview with Joshua Boltuch, co-founder of Amie Street

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Below is an interview with Joshua Boltuch, co-founder of Amie, Inc. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://amiestreet.com/.

TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Amie Street: Amie Street started during our final semester at Brown University, where we graduated from in May of ’06, from discussions about online publishing and how to monetize digital content, specifically music. We had the luxury of time (being in school) to really think about, from a listener’s perspective, what would be the most convenient and affordable way to find new music. That’s how we came up with the community-based pricing model, where all songs start free and rise in price the more they are purchased. This model keeps songs affordable, more organized and easier to find, while also being a seamless promotional tool for musicians who enjoy the snowball or bandwagon effect.

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TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Amie Street: The integration of social networking into a viable business model. Amie Street makes a connection among artists and fans that is more than sending a message or leaving a comment on someone’s wall. When a fan buys an artist’s music, she is voting with her wallet and has a direct effect on that artist’s sales as well as promotion. And if that listener recommends that artist to her friends, she can earn credit back into her account to spend on more music depending on how much the song she recommends rises in price. So there is a real investment.

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Amie Street:
1. ‘All songs are created equal’ and start free on Amie Street where they rise in price as they rise in popularity with a cap at 98 cents. Allowing you to buy hundreds of songs at very affordable prices.
2. We have FANTASTIC new music from thousands of artists in dozens of different genres!
3. When you buy credit on Amie Street you also receive a corresponding number of Recommendations that you can use to recommend any song you purchase. Once you recommend a song you’ve bought, you earn credit if the song subsequently goes up in price. We call it Street Credit, which you can cash in for more music at any time.
4. You can sample between 45 seconds to a minute of a song before you purchase it.
5. There is no DRM software on Amie Street so you can play your MP3s on any player including the iPod.
6. You can create your own music profile to find friends with similar (or different) musical tastes and you can communicate directly in a number of different ways with your favorite artists.

TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?

Amie Street: Everyone who is looking for new music. So obviously our demographics are weighted towards the younger generations, but we also have a bizarre number of 75 year olds on the site. 🙂

They are the people who enjoy discovering new music and not being fed a top 40 list on repeat all summer. Musicians who want to be in control of their music and its distribution and reap the lion’s share of the profit from its sales. Artists take 70% of every song sale after the first $5.

Our audience loves music and wants to be able to support artists without breaking their bank. An active Amie Street member who recommends music could end up paying pennies for hundreds if not thousands of songs because of our recommendation or ‘REC’ system.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Amie Street: Many. To choose a few:
1. We are about to announce a number of different fulfillment partnerships with certain popular music blogs, most notably The Hype Machine. Amie Street provides content to these sites and syndicates music reviews on our own blog and homepage, which gives Amie Street artists an effortless and viral promotional tool for their music.
2. A portable artist music store (Amie Street widget) that allows artists and their fans to sell their music more easily and to more people.
3. More great music from content provider partners ranging from established independent labels and distributors to unknown and unsigned artists that should be both known and signed.
4. An awesome Amie Street concert tour!

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Amie Street: As the destination for new independent music.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Amie Street: Like any start-up company we have had our share of technical difficulties but nothing out of the ordinary for a site like ours.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Amie Street: To make finding new music easy, fun and affordable. Everyone loves music and we want to be the best at helping you find what you love to listen to.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Amie Street: To deliver the best new independent music with the most convenient, relevant and affordable service possible. Our innovation is integrating a social networking application into a business model where they each drive one another. And maybe most importantly, for our members, we reward our customers’ loyalty by giving them more money to spend on music when they recommend great new music. This helps us to identify the next great musicians and helps our members by allowing them to buy tons of music for nickels and dimes.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Amie Street: We are still a young company having only been in business for three months, and we are finalizing our first round of funding to take us through 2007.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

Amie Street: We went live on July 4th, 2006 but did not officially launch to the public until our Beta product on Oct. 4th.

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January 2, 2007 at 8:37 pm 1 comment

Interview with Stacy Geagan Wagner, Director of Corporate Communications from Limbo 41414

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Below is an interview with Stacy Geagan Wagner, Director of Corporate Communications from Limbo 41414. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://www.limbo41414.com/

TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Limbo 41414: Limbo 41414 is a mobile entertainment company. Mobile as in “take it with you” since you can access our service via the web and via your mobile phone.

We launched Limbo 41414 in October 2005 for one simple reason – to help people get more fun out of their cell phones. Since then, we’ve expanded our service to the web much to the excitement of our members.

We’re creating mobile entertainment – games for people to enjoy in their downtime as well as a way for people to connect with others via SMS and online communities.

We support our mobile entertainment business in a number of ways, by making money from:
1. Companies who use our game as a promotional tool to attract new customers, increase the satisfaction of current customers or simply promote their products via mobile,
2. Media partners who use the programs to increase, retain and entertain their audiences, and
3. Premium SMS auctions in which we charge a fee to play.

Our premier product is the Limbo Auction, an insanely interactive game that combines the components of a sweepstakes and an auction. Basically, players try to guess the lowest unique number. The response has been phenomenal in that players actively engage the game an average of 20 times per Limbo Auction – the average players plays 40 times per month – and in return receive more than twice that number of messages from the sponsor through customize, branded tips and responses sent through our automated system.

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TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Limbo 41414: We have no competitors. We’re the first company to offer the Limbo Auction and have a number of patents protecting our IP.

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Limbo 41414: Our premier product is the Limbo Auction, an insanely interactive game that combines the components of a sweepstakes and an auction. Basically, players try to guess the lowest unique number. The response has been phenomenal in that players actively engage the game an average of 20 times per Limbo Auction – the average players plays 40 times per month – and in return receive more than twice that number of messages from the sponsor through customize, branded tips and responses sent through our automated system.

TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?

Limbo 41414: The beauty of the Limbo Auction is that it transcends demographics and has a truly mass appeal. Therefore, the media through which the game is promoted determines the audience. To date, no one group is dominating.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Limbo 41414: Sorry, but that’s confidential information. We can tell you that we’re planning to launch additional games and services beyond the Limbo Auction in the very near future.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Limbo 41414: We’re growing very quickly. Our current goal is to attract 1 million members, and we’re well on our way!

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Limbo 41414: The technology works well and people can play the game easily. However, oddly enough, the concept is difficult to explain. We try to simply entice people to play because the technology leads them through the process simply and easily.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Limbo 41414: We want people to have fun and connect with others. It’s fun: anywhere, anyhow, anytime. And, it’s on their terms.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Limbo 41414: Our mission is to be the most fun you can have on your cell phone or the web. It’s a lofty goal, but we have lots of good ideas.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Limbo 41414: We’ve received two rounds of funding. The first was seed money of approximately $2 million and our series B was $7 million. We launched our first product for consumers in January 2006 and continue to actively upgrade our system and add new features.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

Limbo 41414: We started the company in October 2005 and launched our first consumer product, the Limbo Auction, in January 2006.

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December 22, 2006 at 2:46 pm 1 comment

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