Suddenly, it seems VCs are giving a lot of love to online design/presentation/storytelling startups. Just witness these in the last month:
—Animoto: The online video slideshow compilation service got $4.4 million from Madrona Venture Group and Amazon, among others.
—ThisMoment: The online photo album/timeline service by former Yahoo-er Vince Broady, which launched last month with $3 million in seed funding from some familiar digital media names like Shelby Bonnie, Mika Salmi, and Jason Hirschhorn.
—Typekit, a much-watched online fonts startup, received $700K from the likes of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Flickr creator Caterina Fake, and Matt Mullenweg, the force behind WordPress and Automattic, among others.
—Prezi, an online presentation tool, announced this morning that it got funding from Scandinavian VC firm Sunstone Capital and added Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey as an advisor.
—SlideRocket, another startup that helps create online presentations, just announced $5 million in funding led by Azure Capital Partners with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.
Here’s what Upendra Shardanand, CEO of Daylife, a site known for its design and presentation, had to say about the trend: “Perhaps its less that its about presentation/design/storytelling, and more that these are businesses that (can) support freemium/subscription/fee based revenue streams. Ad-supported models are tough right now. Some believe that itll bounce back. But it may not, if you think that advertising was already ineffective but marketers were spending out of habit, wont become more effective, and as marketers cut back on ad spend, and break their habit and realize that its not that effective after all…it may not bounce back the same way. Only reliable kind of business is one where you have created something of real value that you COULD have people pay for it. Then you have the option of going for fee, OR ad-supported.”
Any other ideas?
By Rafat Ali