Venture Capital News: Pixlee Lands $1.5M in Seed Funding
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Leader in Personalized Visual Marketing announced its seed funding, $1.5 million, from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, XSeed Capital, Ariel Polar, Rothenberg Ventures and Mark Gorenberg.
Pixlee, the leader in Personalized Visual Marketing (PVM), today announced the Pixlee Platform, already in use by leading lifestyle brands to create, manage and measure successful user-generated photo and short form video campaigns. Unique to Pixlee is the ability to surface the best photos and videos among the millions of pieces of brand-affiliated content uploaded by consumers daily. Pixlee also announced its seed funding, $1.5 million, from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, XSeed Capital, Ariel Polar, Rothenberg Ventures and Mark Gorenberg, previously a board member of Omniture, and others, and the addition of Sharon Goldstein to the Pixlee management team as Chief Marketing Officer.
Hundreds of millions of photos are uploaded daily to social media destinations including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A significant percentage of these are attributed to brands by consumers who use brand-specific hashtags. With Pixlee, brand marketers and their agencies can aggregate these photos and surface the best content using Pixlee's patent-pending PhotoRank. Pixlee empowers brands to use targeted, high quality photos for on-line merchandising, site personalization, photo galleries, live events, contests and more. The Pixlee Platform allows brand marketers to collect, curate, and repurpose brand-affiliated user content, and gain actionable insights about their customers at each stage. Pixlee calls this intersection of user photos and data 'Personalized Visual Marketing'.
While aggregating hashtagged content is fairly straightforward, identifying the best visual assets for a given situation is a complex technical challenge. Pixlee's proprietary PhotoRank technology solves this problem through a unique combination of advanced filtering, feature extraction and contextual learning. The Pixlee Platform uses PhotoRank to dynamically identify the most effective photos for each and any consumer interaction.
'At Pixlee we are revolutionizing the relationship between people and brands,' said Kyle Wong, co-founder and CEO of Pixlee. 'We stand at the crossroads of four tectonic shifts: the behavioral change from passive consumer to active consumer, the rapid rise in visual content on social media, increased access to data about consumer and the needs for brands to increase relevancy and responsiveness in online marketing. Pixlee is taking advantage of these industry changes to help brands personalize marketing using authentic customer content.'
'Pixlee is ideally positioned to help brands capitalize on the changing dynamics in visual content,' said Robert Siegel, general partner of XSeed Capital. 'Pixlee is unique in combining photo intelligence with contextual information to create actionable insights. This confluence of photos and data appeals to brands marketers because it gives them the tools to both create and measure a personalized visual marketing experience.'
Pixlee customers vary from lifestyle and ecommerce companies such as 1-800-Flowers, Sanuk (a Decker's brand) and One Kings Lane, to brands and travel destinations like Yamaha and Whistler Blackcomb. They also include sports franchises such as one-third of the National Basketball Association, the Seattle Sounders, and one-fourth of the National Football League.
'In launching our #JustBecause campaign, we knew we'd have a large volume of photos to sort through', said Chris McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. 'Pixlee helped us identify relevant photos, gather key insights, and understand the dialogue consumers are having in the social space.'
'Pixlee has provided us with a terrific software suite that allows us to reach our fans in a manner previously unavailable,' said Dan Plumlee, director of interactive media for the Indianapolis Colts. 'The possibilities for us are endless, implementation is simple and fan engagement is high. We intend to use Pixlee as a regular part of the Colts marketing strategy for our campaigns and initiatives.'
About the Pixlee Platform
Pixlee is the quickest and easiest way to create, manage and measure successful user generated photo/video campaigns. Pixlee is a campaign-friendly, software-as-a-service solution. Digital marketing executives and social media managers can get up and running on Pixlee in a matter of minutes and have photo programs with brand-affiliated content on their site within an hour.
The Pixlee Platform enables users to:
Create: Discover the very best photos and videosfor each consumer interaction and easily create highly-targeted contests, promotions and campaigns.
Manage: Oversee, organize and moderate multiple campaigns over time.
Measure: Understand results and gain meaningful insights into fans, customers, and influencers.
To learn more please visit http://www.pixlee.com.
About the Team
Pixlee was founded by three childhood friends from Brooklyn and an algorithms expert from MIT, each of whom bring a unique perspective and skill set to the company. Kyle Wong, Awad Sayeed, and Miraj Mohsin grew up within blocks of one another in Brooklyn, NY and attended Brooklyn Tech High School. They often shared business ideas, many of which are apparent in Pixlee today. They were soon joined by Jeff Chen, a mathematician and engineer from MIT and together the four founded Pixlee in July 2012.
As high school seniors, Awad and Kyle started a t-shirt company featuring user-generated photos and went on to found a company that aggregated user-submitted college data creating transparency in the college admissions process. These companies were featured on prominent news outlets such as The Today Show, Bloomberg, and Fox News. After high school Miraj attended FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology, where he founded and sold a fashion photography company with clients like Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Prada.
In 2012, while Kyle, Awad, and Jeff were college seniors, the four friends began to collaborate on what would become Pixlee. Their early concept participated in the prestigious Stanford Accelerator, StartX, in June of 2012.
Today Pixlee announces that the founding team is joined by Sharon Goldstein, an industry veteran with over 15 years of experience in digital media, cloud services, social media and mobile, as chief marketing officer. After receiving her MBA at Kellogg School of Management, Sharon started her tech career at RealNetworks, where she built the mobile video business. In addition to her extensive experience with startups, she brings deep industry expertise in the visual media industry from her leadership roles at both Photobucket and Shutterfly.
Pixlee is revolutionizing the relationship between people and brands. By leveraging the power of social photos and videos to connect brands with their customers, Pixlee is at the forefront of a new era of Personalized Visual Marketing. The campaign-friendly Pixlee Platform, based on the unique PhotoRank technology, delivers the quickest and easiest way to create, manage and measure, successful user generated photo campaigns. Pixlee customers, including leading lifestyle brands such as 1-800-Flowers, Sanuk, (a Decker's brand), One Kings Lane, One Hope Wine, The North Face, and Whistler, and sports franchises such as the Golden State Warriors, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Sounders, applaud Pixlee for its design, ease-of-use and ability to create and manage 'on-the-fly' photo and video campaigns. For more information, please see http://www.pixlee.com.
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