Mountain View, Calif. — March 25, 2009 — Pixazza, Inc. today unveiled a new internet service which turns static images into engaging content, while generating incremental income for web publishers. Pixazza enables consumers to simply mouse over images on their favorite web sites to learn more and see related products. To achieve scale, Pixazza utilizes a proprietary crowdsourcing platform, enlisting a distributed workforce of product experts to match products inside an image, with similar items from its network of advertisers.
In addition to launching its service, the company announced a $5.75 million Series A financing from August Capital, CMEA Capital and Google. Google’s investment underscores the innovative and promising nature of Pixazza’s new advertising technology. Pixazza’s financing also includes selected individual investors including angel investor Ron Conway, former eBay COO Maynard Webb, and Facebook CFO Gideon Yu.
“Pixazza hopes to do for images what Google’s AdSense™ did for web pages,” said Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Pixazza. “We are excited about the potential our technology holds for delivering an engaging user experience that creates incremental revenue for web publishers.”
Internet Pioneers Reunite for New Venture
Pixazza was founded in 2008 by CTO James Everingham, who recruited a veteran team of internet technologists. The entire team worked together at Netscape Communications in the 1990s, delivering numerous internet firsts. Everingham later served as CTO of LiveOps, where the same group comprised the founding engineering team, and developed expertise in crowdsourcing technology. As the former Sr. VP and General Manager of Netscape’s browser division, Lisbonne added to the company’s Netscape roots when he joined as CEO, after nine years as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.
“Pixazza’s unique technical advantage is its crowdsourcing platform,” said CTO James Everingham. “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.”
“CMEA Capital has worked with the Pixazza team previously, and we know they have what it takes to build a successful company,” said Jim Watson, managing director at CMEA Capital. “Their unmatched expertise in building crowdsourcing platforms combined with a recession-proof business model, made this an investment opportunity we could not pass up.”
Finding Products in the Picture
Pixazza is not a shopping destination, but rather a service that web publishers employ to allow their visitors to gather insight on products that might interest them. To use it, consumers simply move their mouse over any image posted to participating sites. The motion instantly reveals information and pricing about a selection of products similar in look and style to the one that caught their eye. One click on any item brings them directly to the product page of an associated merchant to learn more and make a purchase.
“By using Pixazza, publishers will give consumers another reason to visit their favorite web sites,” said Howard Hartenbaum, general partner at August Capital and initial investor in Skype. “Consumers will quickly appreciate that, with one click of a mouse, they can discover in-depth information about the images that catch their eye. It will soon become a must-have offering across the web.”
Pixazza’s service has undergone testing since November 2008, is already live on multiple web sites, and is being made available to additional publishers at this time. Pixazza is initially seeking fashion-related publishers and apparel merchants, but plans to expand into other categories including home design/home furnishings, travel, electronics, and sports.
Founded in 2008, Pixazza, Inc. provides an internet service that turns static images into engaging content, while generating incremental income for web publishers. Pixazza enables consumers to simply mouse over images on their favorite web sites to learn more and see related products. Pixazza is a private company funded by August Capital, CMEA Ventures, and Google, with offices in Mountain View, CA. For more information, visit www.pixazza.com.
About August Capital
Founded in 1995, August Capital has funded an extraordinary group of entrepreneurs who have built significant, long-term value across the full range of information technologies. These companies represent an aggregate market capitalization of well over $250 billion, generate in excess of $75 billion in annual revenue around the world. This success is a testament to the entrepreneurs themselves, as well as the fundamental technologies they have created. The partners at August Capital were the earliest investors in a number of ground breaking technology companies, including Microsoft, Intuit, Seagate, Sun, Skype, Compaq, Symantec, Sybase, Atheros, Grand Junction and many more. August Capital is located in Menlo Park, California. For more information, please visit: www.augustcap.com.
About CMEA Capital
CMEA Capital provides capital and counseling to entrepreneurs and investors in the life sciences, information technology, and energy & materials sectors. Through its combination of solid scientiﬁc credentials and seasoned management expertise, CMEA identiﬁes, funds and manages new businesses based on the emerging, interdisciplinary science required to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing global economy. The firm currently manages seven funds representing investments in excess of $1 billion. CMEA has been an early stage investor in many leading companies, including A123Systems, Codexis, Entropic (ENTR), Flextronics (FLEX), Magma (LAVA), Maxygen (MAXY), Silicon Spice (BRCM), Solyndra, and Symyx (SMMX).