IngBoois a web start-up that provides consumers with a simple, free way to organize their ‘Web activities’ in one place. These activities can range from reading news from multiple sources, finding a job on different job sites, tracking deals on Craigslist, monitoring searches on Google and YouTube or getting Twitter and Facebook updates. Users can see all of this in one place, called the ‘IngBoo List’. The service is available on the Web, mobiles and via email. New channels such as Facebook and native RIMM app will be available in the third quarter of this year.
IngBoo was conceived in early 2007, and the service was launched in April 2009. Challenged by the information overload problem on the web, co-founders Rikard Kjellberg, CEO, and Furkan Khan, COO wanted to provide a more productive way to access the Web. Kjellberg has held top positions in the communications and Internet industries over the past 20 years. Most recently he was VP of Poducts at Venturi Wireless and earlier CTO at SAAB TransponderRech, a wireless provider. He was also co-founder and CTO of Ellipus Systems a mobile e-commerce solution. Khan was a founding member of NetMind, where he created mass-consumer services for fixed and mobile Internet and led the company to an acquisition by PumaTech for $400 million in 2000. He has also held leading roles at VeriSign, Schlumberger Technologies, Computer Associates and other companies. Another key founding member, Chieft Software Wizard Tomas Lund, was also one of the first members of IngBoo’s R&D team. In June 2008, IngBoo raised $500,000 in an initial seed round, and another angel-funded round of $300,000 is expected to close soon. The company plans to raise $3 million in Series A financing by the end of this year or early next year. IngBoo currently has 12 employees.
IngBoo’s focus audience is the mass consumer who is looking for a simpler and more productive launch pad for the web. It is a tool for professionals to get the information they want, when they want it and save them a lot of time in the process.
The company also offers a Publisher Program, through which publishers like bloggers or brands have a more effective way to proactively connect with their audiences. Dynamic RSS improves on existing RSS by providing one-click preview and bundling capabilities. The ‘snackable’ newsletter style improves existing newsletter strategies by delivering a full experience that would otherwise be blocked by spam and image blocking filters.
IngBoo believes that it is uniquely positioned in a few ways. Portal users see it as a simple and more comprehensive launch pad for the Web, while RSS readers users see it as an advanced launch pad, which not only enables news reading but other Web activities such as setting up job and shopping scouts. The service aim to be publisher-friendly and to increase reach and revenues for publishers. Unlike services such as alerts.com, which focus on email alerts, IngBoo compresses and consolidates the information and brings it to the user in a soft updates approach.
RSS adoption statistics indicate that in its current form, RSS is not really ‘Real Simple Syndication’, the ‘real simple’ essence being lost and instead becoming an expert user tool. IngBoo’s ‘Dynamic RSS’ feature takes an existing RSS feed and improves it by better control, a one-click subscription, bundling and previews and information updates consolidation and noise compression. This allows users to focus their time on the content as opposed to Web clutter.
IngBoo focuses on the B2C relationship. According to IAB, Internet ad spending in the US was $21 billion in 2007. Email marketing alone, a sub-category of e-marketing, generated $1.2 billion in 2007, reports Jupiter Research. Initially, IngBoo intends to capture a 20% market share of the email marketing category by allowing the consumer to retain control over information flow.
IngBoo projects that its service will attract at least 200,000 unique users by the end of its first year in operation; that number should grow to 7 million over three years and generating a minimum of $32 million in annual revenue. The company plans to acquire users via its Web publisher program, which allows publishers and retailers to quickly deploy the IngBoo relationship tool on their sites and increase site revisit rates and ultimately conversion.
The top target segments include brand publishers such as Forbes, CNN and News Media Group; brand retailers such as Sketchers, Under Armour and Frys Electronics; and Web sites and bloggers that want to connect with their audiences and increase reach. The company is at an early stage of consumer and publisher adoption. Since launch, it has been steadily increasing the number of publishers and bloggers, which in turn has helped grow its active user base. Over two dozen partners use IngBoo’s publisher relationship tool.
Potential competitors are yotify.com, alerts.com and trackle.com. But these companies use an ‘alerts approach’ that competes with publishers. IngBoo aims to position itself as a launch pad for information updates and takes the user back to the source for the full content experience, making for a satisfactory experience for both consumers and publishers.
Having just started, IngBoo still has a long way to go. The company plans to get more brand publishers and sites at large to use the relationship tool set, which in turns creates users for IngBoo. The company also periodically has specific D2C campaigns, such as a recently deployed campaign around jobs. These campaigns are effective in creating user traction. IngBoo has also developed core IP to further enhance their positioning but ultimately needs to prove their model with consumers.
Deal Radar 2008: iForem
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009