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Dotomi – Profile

October 26, 2004

dotomi logo.jpg
HQ: Boston, MA
Founded: 2000
Management: Starpower comes from Yair Goldfinger, co-founder & CTO, who was previously CTO of ICQ (IM program bought by AOL). CEO John Federman was the one-time Publisher of PC Week and also run small online ad outfits that were sold-off: Adsmart sold to Engage and Newmediary sold to CNET. On the board are former About.com CEO, Scott Kurnit, and CNET’s Esther Dyson.
Investors: Company raised $10.5M in September 2004 led by Investor Growth Capital with US Venture Partners, and Velocity Equity Partners.
Business Model: Smart Web banner technology for Opt-in, contextual marketing. So you’re on a site with opt-in registration. In subsequent visits to the site or others on the Dotomi network, banner ad messages will be customized to your interests. Dotomi cookies will redirect to the Dotomi server to match banner messaging with your interests. Company claims it has been getting click through rates in Israel, where it initially launched, as high as 7-12%.
Competitors: Kanoodle, Adrelief, Quigo, ContextWeb, IndustryBrains, Tacoda, Google Adsense.
Dirt: Dotomi is walking the fine line between making banner ads more contextual and being labeled an adware or spyware player. While we would put them in the adware camp, the company smartly overcompensates by making Consumers Rule! its ubiquitous tagline and has convinced some in the press that it is not adware. But isn’t the distinguishing characteristic of adware that it sniffs Web browsers and isn’t that what Dotomi is doing? Thanks to the pedigree of its board, Dotomi has been successful at lining up content partners – About.com, NYTimes,com, Gannet, advertising.com, etc.

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