Reachli is a startup to watch. I saw the former Pinerly present at Plug & Play in Sunnyvale last August, and met the founders, when our UBC FOM student, Jonas Fung, hosted a Canadian startup event at Plug & Play. Reachli came out of U of Toronto.. Needless to say, I was impressed… The business model at the time was a blend of Web analytics and viral marketing, with a tag line about “turning browsers into buyers,” which has been the bane of social media marketing efforts. The conversion rate is abysmal. I “got it” immediately,and I am pleased to see them moving forward.. Good luck Reachli!
Originally posted on PandoDaily:
Marketers have been anticipating the release of Pinterest’s API for almost a year. In the interim, a myriad of SaaS tools have sprung up, some in the form of new startups like Pinerly, and others under the umbrella of the now-acquired social SaaS tools from Wildfire, Buddy Media and Vitrue.
Acknowledging that once Pinterest’s API is eventually published, all of these early tools will be irrelevant, Pinerly has smartly transitioned into a new form of image-based advertising. While in San Francisco’s Plug and Play accelerator program, Pinerly changed its name to Reachli, expanded its tools beyond Pinterest to Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter, and raised seed capital from a long list of angel investors to focus on image-based marketing. 500 startups, PNP Ventures, William Lohse an early Pinterest backer, Howard Love, Saeed Amidi, GVA ventures, ZelkovaVC and Philquo Ventures invested.
Reachli now has access to images on the websites of more than 700 publishers. The company’s algorithms identify categories of images and suggest them to advertisers. Then, advertisers can buy an ad for the image that is basically a text link that appears when a user rolls over the image with their cursor. The idea is that the link will direct users to something relevant to the image — a home goods sale if it’s a photo of an interior, for example. It reminds me of the layover ads you see on YouTube videos, only much more relevant, and only appearing when you roll over. More than 100 advertisers have experimented with the new format.