Finnish Company Transform Online Images Into Virtual Storefronts
Finland might not be on most people's startup radars, but to my mind, it's a country we might all do well to pay a little more attention to in the new few years.
A perfect example of this comes from Kiosked, a content monetisation startup that has recently netted an impressive $6.9million investment. The company makes purchasing easier for the consumer by linking images found online to stores in which they can buy the products. The company calls this Smart Technology, and this is a fine example of the innovative Finnish startup market.
The business levies a 10% charge for advertisers for each transaction, and also charges between one and five cents when a user clicks into the store to find more information. Its raison d’etre is to transform every image into a storefront.
The concept, which began in 2010, has attracted an influential clientele, including the likes of Nike and eBay, and seeks to bolster its workforce to over 200 by the end of 2013. It earned attention at the White Bull 2011 Competition by winning the selection for Europe’s best startup.
Concert promoter and technology investor Kevin Wall is clearly impressed, and with his sizeable investment he has earned himself a seat on the board of an award winning company. Of the cash injection, he said, "online marketing needs to become a non-intrusive service for consumers, otherwise it will not succeed"
Managing Director and founder of Kiosked, Micke Paqvalén, said the company "has made significant progress in the market and the numbers speak in favour of Kiosked's solution. Our click through rates average at 5.5%, significantly higher than traditional forms of online advertising."
Paqvalén is a serial entrepreneur, and in his twenty years’ experience in international business has founded three major software companies – one of which was acquired by Oracle Corporation.
Kiosked has previously been bolstered with a $5.75million investment from Kaj Hed: chairman of Rovio Entertainment and famed for inventing the successful Angry Birds franchise. Wall's addition to the board will prove similarly influential given his powerful credentials, experience and network – he was responsible for the operation and organisation of the opening concert to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
In order to promote a system whereby clicking and buying are accomplished seamlessly, Kiosked is striving for a high level of simplicity in how it operates, both for the advertiser and the consumer. A familiar “drag-and-drop” design allows for images to be linked to the storefront quickly and with minimal fuss, and consumers need only to click on the image.
It is this ease of access and ‘no frills’ approach that both marketers and consumers can become familiar with. And in an ever expanding and increasingly sophisticated online marketing sphere, this is both lucrative and revolutionary.