hoverr

I was on TV today! It was a minor appearance on Channel News Asia, the region’s leading business channel, on Tech-Know, an excellent Tuesday morning show.

cna interview

I was invited to speak about Kiosked, a tech company out of Finland that’s raised $13 million in funding. One of its principle investors is Kaj Head, chairman of Rovio, which of course created Angry Birds.

Kiosked works with publishers as a way to monetize their content. The company overlays ads on top of websites’ images that act as virtual storefronts, featuring products relevant to that content.

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The winner of Echelon’s India satellite, Hoverr, caught my eye.  Their business is about putting ads in front of websites’ images; what they do is analyze what’s in the image and then serve a targeted ad.  For example, if the photo is about a car, why not serve an ad for the latest BMW.  People don’t look at banner ads in the usual places but they do look at a story’s photos, so not only can the ad be more compelling it can also have prominent placement.

It’s an interesting idea.  I wanted to vote for them to win Echelon until they freely admitted they were a copycat, and about the fifth or sixth to the market too.  You can’t win a start-up competition by being a clone, can you?

I recently saw such an ad — I don’t know if it was Hoverr’s or one of their competitors’ — and I almost coughed up my drink when I saw it.

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