Kiosked Linking Kobe Clips to Nike Store Draws InvestorsKasper Viita
Kiosked Oy, a startup that links images on the Web to online stores, plans to triple its workforce after attracting a Digital Sky Technologies partner to its board in its second round of multimillion-dollar funding.
The Finnish company collected $6.9 million from private investors including John Lindfors, who is joining the board with event producer Kevin Wall. Lindfors has been at Digital Sky, billionaire Yuri Milner’s investment firm that backed Facebook Inc., for three years, and previously ran Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Europe technology investment banking.
“What these people bring us is substance and credibility,” Kiosked founder and Chief Executive Officer Micke Paqvalen said over coffee at the company’s glass-walled headquarters in Espoo, Finland. “Now we’re going to hit the accelerator hard.”
Kiosked, founded in 2010, develops technology that makes it easier for people to buy an item they see in an online picture or video clip -- be it a news photo or sports highlight reel. It is seeking to expand in a market also targeted by companies such as Mountain View, California-based Luminate Inc.
Last year, Kiosked received a $5.75 million funding round led by Kaj Hed, who is chairman of “Angry Birds” maker Rovio Entertainment Oy and also participated in the most recent round. Another early investor and board member is Andreas Rosenlew, chairman and founder of brand consultancy Grow Partners AB. In January, Kiosked brought in Tero Ojanperae, the former head of Nokia Oyj’s service unit.
Wall is the CEO and founder of Control Room, which organized the opening concert for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Kiosked’s technology links advertisers’ products to relevant online content. A compilation clip of basketball player Kobe Bryant’s dunks might be automatically tagged with a link to purchase the Nike Inc. shoes he’s wearing. In addition to Nike, customers include video-platform provider Brightcove Inc. and stock-photo supplier Getty Images.
The company charges advertisers 10 percent per transaction on average, half of which goes to the content-sharing party. Kiosked also charges 1 to 5 cents when a user clicks into the store to look for more information.
The company seeks to boost its workforce to 200 over the next 12 months from the current 60, targeting mainly northern Europe, the U.K., the U.S., southeast Asia and China.
Kiosked also plans to provide detailed retail analytics through its platform, which tracks consumers’ actions, according to CEO Paqvalen.
“We timestamp every single event, how the mouse moves, what is clicked and so on,” he said. “We know in real time what products sell at which price and in which color where.”