The Startup Outlook - Issue 2 - Presented by 360iU


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The Startup Outlook - Issue 2 - Presented by 360iU

  1. 1. Presented By: Issue #2 - June 2012 Welcome to the second edition of Startup Outlook, 360i’s guide for how brands can better evaluate emerging technologies and platforms. This edition features five companies based in Israel, which boasts the highest density of tech startups in the world, the biggest destination for global venture capital per capita and the highest level of R&D spending relative to GDP, per Forbes. If you have feedback, or if you represent a startup and want to be considered for a future edition, contact us at tweet thisA Glimpse into the Israeli Tech SceneTel Aviv is the hub of Israel’s technology startup scene and at the heart of the hub is Rothschild Boulevard,known locally as Silicon Boulevard. On either side of the wide berth for bicyclists and pedestrians, andalong the intersecting streets, many of the world’s most dynamic companies are reinventing media,commerce and marketing. Among the five companies presented here, The Gifts Project was acquiredby eBay and just last week Facebook scooped up for an estimated $60MM. The other threefeatured startups are in early stages of working with brands. This is just a taste of the activity from thehundreds of startups in Tel Aviv and thousands in Israel. StartupScorecard Here is 360i’s qualitative Startup Scorecard, presenting the four criteria to use when evaluating startups: Value: What consumer and brand needs does the Applicability: Which brands or verticals would find technology facilitate? If a consumer application, why the startup most relevant? Even the hottest startups would consumers use this, and why would brands aren’t right for every brand. Some startups are more even consider participating? If the value is high for applicable for a certain season, campaign or goal. consumers, brands will want to find a way to get involved. Prominence: How can the brand stand out and create Ingenuity: What is exciting right now? In some cases, its own experience? A rotating banner ad within a site a brand will seek out ingenuity because it’s looking to or application won’t give the brand a prominent hook, attract media attention and get recognized as an while sponsorships, white label offerings and product innovator. It’s also important to discern whether the integration will score high here. offering is truly unique, or if there are more established competitors with similar offerings that can better achieve a marketer’s goals. 1
  2. 2. Startup ReviewsHere are five startups that are working with brands or are looking to do so. Each one is measured againstthe evaluation criteria outlined in the Scorecard. To have a startup considered for future updates, contactus at• Value: claims to be the “world’s largest and most accurate face recognition platform.” It’s hard to see anyone disputing this claim, as has detected tens of billions of faces – enough to spot everyone on Earth five times as of the end of 2011. As far as accuracy, it keeps improving, moving from detecting gender to age to mood. Any marketer or developer can use’s free API in their own applications; there are nominal fees for extensive calls to the platform’s servers.• Applicability: Any brand can find creative ways to use the technology. Entertainment brands can try to match viewers’ faces to celebrities, consumer brands can try to determine how happy its customers are and reward people with the biggest smiles, and retailers can include the technology in in-store kiosks to customize product recommendations. Note with all of this, marketers must be especially careful to allow opt-in consent from consumers and be extremely vigilant about privacy.• Prominence: The platform is so open that marketers can create entirely unique experiences, the likes of which people have never experienced before. Or it’s possible to go a safer, more familiar route and tap as one small part of a bigger program.• Ingenuity: is constantly adding more features and improving its detection software. Its new iPhone app, Klik, tags people’s Facebook friends in photos and improves its accuracy the more it’s used, demonstrating how will keep getting smarter. 2
  3. 3. Fooducate• Value: Fooducate is a resource for gauging the nutritional information of packaged foods. While it offers an online search engine, its main channel is a mobile app (iOS, Google Play) with a barcode scanner. For consumers, it provides detailed reviews with a strong editorial point of view. Many brands will take issue with the letter grades and even some of the explanations behind them, but often brands benefit from ratings that surpass consumer expectations. Fooducate helps consumers learn nutritional information through scanning product barcodes.• Applicability: Consumer packaged goods brands will be most eager to take part, though selectively, as brand managers will want to review the ratings for each product. While products with high letter grades will be the most likely focal points for promotion, some marketers may be comfortable with relatively mediocre grades if their products still rank among the best options in a given category.• Prominence: Fooducate provides a range of options for marketers with varying degrees of prominence. These include: banner ads on app product pages and the homepage, promoted products within search results, loyalty rewards including coupons for scanning a product multiple times within a certain period, sponsoring educational content, brand specific surveys and custom promotions. Fooducate rating for Chobani yogurt 3
  4. 4. • Ingenuity: Despite there being a range of other barcode scanning apps that offer nutritional information, Fooducate’s custom rating system with a vast content library has attracted millions of app downloads, with a sizeable percentage of early adopters working in health, food and nutrition fields. While many barcode scanning apps are gimmicky, Fooducate’s value proposition is one that is likely to change or influence the purchase behavior of its regular users, so brand marketers will need to gauge the consumer response to determine whether or not it’s a fit for their marketing plans.The Gifts Project• Value: The Gifts Project allows retailers and brands to let their shoppers chip in for gifts with their friends. The offering can work as a plug-in on an e-commerce site’s product pages or as a Facebook app. It can work with any business selling products online and still operates largely independently despite being acquired by eBay in 2011 to power eBay Group Gifts.• Applicability: Retailers are the most likely to be interested in trying the social commerce functionality, but consumer brands are increasingly selling products directly online and this could be of interest for marketers promoting higher ticket items. The Gifts Project allows consumers to split the cost of products, for example the purse shown above, which can bought for €16.50 among three friends. 4
  5. 5. • Prominence: Any retailer or brand can use the white label offering as part of its own e-commerce experience. Today, group gifting offerings can be differentiators. If it proves to be a successful model, then this may in time be an expected feature on product pages, following the path of ratings and reviews, and perhaps “like” and “pin this” buttons.• Ingenuity: It’s to eBay’s credit that this pioneering, user-friendly group gifting technology is still operating like a startup and can be tapped by others. The founders have an ambitious roadmap ahead with plans for other social commerce technologies.Getonic• Value: Getonic allows any retailer or content owner to set up a digital shop that can be embedded within a Facebook post, rather than a separate tab. Instead of replicating an entire store within Facebook, the focus here is selling a single product, or a limited number of related goods. Rewards can be offered for consumers whose friends take a desired action. Products marketed through the ecommerce app can be digital or physical and it can accommodate couponing and donations. For certain kinds of products and offers, consumers will likely appreciate being able to act on it mostly within the Facebook post itself.• Applicability: This can be relevant for a wide number of marketers – entertainment brands may sell content downloads, retailers may offer deals and packaged goods brands may use it for couponing. Currently, payment is fulfilled through PayPal, which will be a drawback for most large marketers, but in the coming months Getonic will integrate payment within the app so one doesn’t have to leave Facebook. Getonic is also in the process of integrating with various third party payment platforms.• Prominence: While Getonic hosts a marketplace on its site, the real appeal will be for marketers to create their own stores through which they can distribute promotions via their own digital channels. Getonic lets brands set up shop in digital spaces – offering the unique opportunity to promote or sell single products within a Facebook post. 5
  6. 6. • Ingenuity: There are dozens of social commerce technologies that work with Facebook. Many of these are designed to work within tabs that are essentially hidden from consumers and require paid media investments to achieve any visibility. Getonic’s aims are more modest and more ambitious, as its storefronts are best limited to a single promotion or offer, while gaining more visibility by embedding in the post itself.Vidit• Value: Vidit crowdsources video production, taking footage shot by multiple people at a single event and seamlessly turning user content into a single synchronized video. Its algorithm determines the best shots. A companion product called Cubes allows viewers to watch an event from multiple perspectives.• Applicability: This will be most exciting for entertainment brands and marketers sponsoring live events.• Prominence: Vidit is focused on content creation rather than becoming a video creation site. Marketers can use it to find creative ways to share stories from live events.• Ingenuity: The concept of Vidit is reminiscent of the original idea behind Color, the once massively hyped mobile app that showed all the photos taken at a specific location. Vidit does this for video, but from a more curated approach. The output – if done right – will be the kind of content that marketers constantly need to fuel their digital Vidit curates then weaves multiple streams of footage from a single programs. As it comes out of beta and event, such as the Arcade Fire concert shown above. features are added, it should inspire marketers to tell stories in new and unexpected ways.Point Of ViewLearn from Hila Shitrit Nissim, head of marketing and investor relations at Carmel Ventures – one ofIsrael’s top venture capital firms – and Ruthie Wittenberg, Senior Director of Marketing at NBC Universalabout how brands and startups can create better partnerships. 6
  7. 7. Hila Shitrit Nissim, Marketing & Investor Relations Carmel Ventures• What’s the best advice you give startups that are looking to work with marketers? The number one mistake startups make when selling to marketers is that they fail to understand the exact function and responsibility of the person they are pitching. We advise startups to target and tailor their story based on a person’s specific function within the marketing department: media buying, brand messaging, strategy, digital, mobile, etc.• What’s something that you wish marketers could do better when startups are pitching them? When it comes to the marketers, we wish they would first explain how their marketing organization is built and what their specific role is within it. This can help us set the correct tone and expectation for the pitch.• With the global nature of your business, what determines whether a startup opens up an office in the United States? The major factor is where the startup’s target market is. Sometimes, companies can start developing the solution and even selling it from a distance. Yet, when it comes to the scaling phase and companies need to build a global organization, it is important to open an office in the United States. For Carmel Ventures, the majority of the companies are based abroad, and close to their major target markets.Ruthie Wittenberg, Senior Director of Marketing NBCUniversal• What’s the best advice you can give a startup that’s pitching you? Know who you’re pitching. I don’t mean a Google search a day prior, but truly do research on the company. Look into what other emerging technologies or platforms they’ve invested in, worked with, partnered with, etc.• How does that play out specifically for startups pitching NBC Universal? Know our core businesses and where your startup strengths lie to assist in success for us. For example, within NBC Universal, Film alone has three very distinct businesses – UPG, Focus and UHE – that have different needs, cycles and business models.• With the Olympics on NBC, what’s one thing you’re doing digitally that you’re especially excited about? Live streaming all events at for the first time ever! Sign up to receive monthly Startup Outlook updates at If you represent a startup and would like to be considered for a future report, please contact © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserved