Linkstorm

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Overview

Linkstorm is an Advertising Technology company that makes ads perform better for the advertiser by making the ads more useful to the CONSUMER. We achieve this by overlaying an expandable navigation menu onto any ad, activated upon rollover (or tap in Mobile), which enables the consumer to get directly to whatever interests them most via a single click. In addition, our highly-granular data on customer intent, self-declared based on their selection from 20-100+ menu choices, is then used for dynamic optimization and retargeting.

For Accredited Investors Only. 

Limited Bonus On Equity

Linkstorm is offering a temporary deal in which it will grant a 25% equity bonus to the next $233,000 that is received. 



Despite the gold rush of ad budgets "following the eyeballs" to digital media, esp Mobile & Video, digital ads don't perform in terms of engagement, click-thrus or esp conversions. We improve these rates by 2x-17x, proven in strict A/B tests vs all other display ads. We also capture highly-granular, 1st-party data on customer intent that is super-precise and accurate because it is based on the customer's own choice of click-thru on 20-100+ menu choices. We then automatically retarget that customer based on that data.


Solution

We are the only co offering an ad with an extensive navigation menu (20-100+ choices), enabling a single ad to speak to all target customer profiles, all stages of the funnel, and all possible personal interests & motivations. By definition, we are also the only co capturing 20-100+ data points identifying the customer's precise interests - as self-declared by the customer herself (1st party data). Then based on that data, we automatically optimize the ad even further per the customer's interests.


Business Model

We charge a CPM-based "Rich Media serving fee" that is separate from whatever the advertiser already paying for the media on which to place the ads - although many clients now request one-stop shopping in which we buy the media too. Our CPM is a sliding scale: the bigger the volume of impressions committed, the lower the CPM. Also happy to charge on a CPC or even CPA basis, since we're willing to risk our own income based on our confidence in delivering better performance.


Management

Linkstorm's managers, investors and advisors are deeply experienced in the Ad Industry, with backgrounds that include advertising activities for Facebook, Yahoo!, 24/7 Real Media, Interpublic/McCann Erickson, WPP, Grey, Ziff-Davis, General Foods, Citibank, Priceline, Rocket Fuel and many others. This includes investor/advisors Vince Leusner, Rick Braddock, Kim Goh, Esther Dyson, Jeff Ballowe, and of course the 5 company managers who collectively have 70 years' industry experience.


Target Market

Display Advertising did $72 Billion in 2016, growing 20%+ annually, and is on course to overtake TV Advertising in 2017. It overtook PaidSearch (Google) in 2016. We also have a game-changing product for Mobile Advertising and In-Video Advertising, which are growing even faster. Our total addressable market also covers ALL of Display, vs competitors who only address one sliver of the market (e.g. only Branding, only Direct Response, only DynamicContent Optimization, only Retargeting, only Data).


Customers

Current: Kay Jewelers, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, Sage Software, Key Bank, Finish Line, JustFab, Montblanc, AdTran, Priceline, Amgen, Toyota, Auto-Owners Insurance, AutoGravity, Perdue, Bayer.


Sales and  Marketing Strategy

Combination of direct sales and channel sales (which still require in-house personnel to manage & support). Direct sales includes advertisers and agencies (esp the major ad agency holding co's), and channel sales include major publishers, ad networks & programmatic media co's (DataXu, Rocket Fuel, Valassis Digital, NY Times...). Also, potential for a self-service/long-tail adoption model (like Google Ad Words) for which we already have a distribution partner w/900,000 SMB clients (Audience-X).


Competitors

Competitors only offer partial imitations of only one facet of Linkstorm: e.g. DCO vendors like Criteo, Flashtalking & Jivox only customize the base ad unit but don't offer (or customize!) 20-100+ menu choices or Mobile-only vendors like Celtra, Crisp & InMobi don't offer a single unified campaign across all screens. Finally, "traditional" Rich Media vendors such as DoubleClick, Spongecell & Pointroll/Sizmek are primarily about flashy effects to grab attention – not utility &performance.

Competitive Advantages

Linkstorm's technology is 1) protected by a deep patent portfolio (11 patents approved, >30 more anticipated); 2) extremely difficult to copy technologically, and 3) protected by a very high distribution barrier (took Linkstorm 2 years to achieve widespread approval to run across virtually all publisher sites, ad networks, portals, and RTB/Ad Exchange environments). Primary differentiator is that only LS offers an ad with 20-100+ menu choices, thus speaking to all target customer profiles, all stages of the funnel, & all personal interests.

Exit 

When successful, companies similar to Linkstorm have historically continued with a growth strategy, considered offers from 3rd party buyers of the company, or possibly move toward an initial public offering of their shares. 


Revenue

The Company made approximately 225,000 in revenue for 2016, is anticipating revenues of 480,000 for 2017 and expects to continue a pattern of revenue growth in the short and long term. 


FAQ

 More questions about Linkstorm? Check our FAQ here




Meet the Team
David Sidman
Founder - CEO
Matthew Cohen
VP of Sales
Marc Taubman
Chief Relationship Architect
Timothy Ross
VP of Engineering
Michael Healy
Director of Client & Advertising Operations
Updates

David Sidman- CEO

November 07, 2017

Linkstorm Update

Dear Shareholders, 

Ever since my last note just before Labor Day, I have moved fundraising to the back burner in order to focus primarily on signing customers for the Holidays/Q4 while the Sept/Oct window for that was still open.  I’m happy to report that as a result, we’re now forecasting 2017 revenue to be $642,066, which is about 3x our revenue from 2016 ($226K), and more than 15x our revenue from 2015 ($42K).  All this is still without a full Sales team, and with zero Marketing budget.  It’s a sign of the power of our product that we’ve achieved traction like this with virtually no sales/marketing.  Imagine what we could do with adequate resources.


In a minute I’ll flesh out this customer progress with more specifics and live examples, but first I wanted to mention that our 25% equity bonus deal is still available to the next $233K that comes in the door.  That’s because investors have snapped up $67K of it so far, and I anticipate the rest going quickly because I’m about to turn my primary attention back to fundraising.


For example I have just presented to the Keiretsu Forum in India (via Skype), am about to present to Keiretsu/Singapore this Thurs night, and am presenting to the Wharton Angel Network a week from Monday.  I also have lots of other irons in the fire, including a number of investors who can write checks for $500K.  In addition, we’ll be listed publicly next week on a Canadian investor platform called FrontFundR; you can see our preliminary description in the “Coming Soon” section:  https://www.frontfundr.com/Company/linkstorm.


Although we have received about $400K of our bridge and have raised the target to $700K, we would accept more if it would finally get me out of fundraising mode and able to focus more completely on signing the rest of our large sales pipeline.  More on this at the end below.


Our staff has also come through with a big contribution toward helping us reach profitability by lowering our burn rate.  We offered them an opportunity to trade salary for equity, and I’m proud to report that they traded anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of their salaries for equity until we reach net profitability on a permanent, sustained basis.  (Personally I’m still not taking any salary.)  This not only represents a material benefit to the company by reducing our gross expenses from $72K/month to $42K/month, but it also represents a tremendous vote of confidence in the company that our people, the majority of whom have families, have chosen voluntarily to maximize their sweat equity.


If you want to view a 10-minute video of my current investor pitch, see my presentation to The Keiretsu Forum in Philadelphia: https://youtu.be/25mDemGZpL4.  You already know that one of our Keiretsu investors is Vince Leusner, the co-founder of Keiretsu Mid-Atlantic (New York/Philadelphia/Washington/Pittsburgh) and also a veteran of the Ad Industry (McCann Erickson/Interpublic, CFO of Grey/Asia), but our investor base now includes John Dolan who runs Keiretsu Pittsburgh and wrote the Due Diligence report on Linkstorm, and Jun Ueki, a Keiretsu Seattle investor who also runs the Keiretsu/Tokyo chapter.


As to the customer progress I mentioned, here are some of our recent highlights:



  • Kay Jewelers is continuing its long-running ramp-up with Linkstorm, which started a year ago when their $35,000 campaign drove $801,000 in online sales (a 23-to-1 ROI) and then led to 8 more campaigns throughout the year.  Their latest commitment is a $100,000 co-op campaign with Citizen Watches.  Kay is also sponsoring us strongly with their new ad agency Digitas, which after typical agency foot-dragging is finally initiating talks at their parent company Publicis for an enterprise-wide MSA deal.  Examples from the new campaign: http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/CITZ_GNRC_A3EA (women) and http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/CITZ_GNRC_A035 (men).


  • IBM is launching this week with the first of the 12 business units we have engaged with under the sponsorship of IBM’s Chief Digital Officer and its Head of WorldWide Media.  Their agency Ogilvy is also cooperating nicely, and we have leveraged this into a whole series of additional client discussions across the rest of WPP including Mindshare, Maxus, MEC, Mediacom, J. Walter Thompson, Young & Rubicam, etc.  Rick Braddock and I are currently scheduling meetings with the CEOs of both Ogilvy and Y&R, and Rick himself has engaged with WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, and through him a number of other CEOs and Chairmen across WPP.  The current/first campaign is for IBM Watson (http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/IBMC_GNRT_72B9), and we have also received commitments from three other of the 12 business units (Enterprise Systems & Storage; Developer Marketing; Online Education) for either Q4 or Q1 campaigns.


  • Citrix just completed its first test and racked up excellent results, including click-through rates to the left of the decimal point (almost unheard-of in Display Advertising) on Tech-specific websites like CIO.com, ComputerWorld and NetworkWorld, as well as performing well on more generic sites like The Wall Street Journal.  They will be renewing and expanding in Q1.   http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/CTRX_GNRC_BE52





  • Audience-X is a reseller/partner who has been contributing revenue every month for more than a year, and is now ramping up much more significantly, doubling its typical monthly revenue for July and then tripling it for August (comprising 22 small clients and about 34 million ad impressions for the month).  They are especially eager to market our future Self-Service offering, because they have a total of 900,000 small/medium advertisers and believe that a self-service option would scale enormously.  For our part, we know how to build a self-service version of our product but lack the money to do so until we complete our next funding round.




  • Pacific Union International (international real estate company) has signed for its first pilot campaign, which will be launching in the San Francisco area only, but then they expect to expand it; for example their agency has already expressed interest in running a similar campaign in both the UK and China.  We are only waiting for final creative feedback, having already completed the initial design and integrated their data feed for live updating of real estate property listings, photos, and broker contact info.


  • FreeCo (new client in Brazil which sells air fresheners etc. – via a local Reseller we have in place in Brazil) – has committed to a $5K pilot; we’ve completed the Powerpoint mockup of their design, and are awaiting Creative revisions and a signed order.


  • Bank of Oklahoma (which also owns a number of other regional banks) is nearly finished with its extensive Vendor Onboarding process, which requires a long checklist since they’re a financial institution.  We’re planning to launch in Q1.


  • Sage Software has committed to a $35,000 project that we are still trying to develop in time for Q4.


  • T. Rowe Price has also committed to a Q4 or Q1 project, with $$ still tbd.


  • Our Agency outreach, which was summarized above in relation to WPP (esp Ogilvy and IBM) has also produced significant momentum across many account teams at other agencies, including Omnicom (OMD, PHD, BBDO, etc.), Interpublic Group (McCann Erickson, Grey, Foote Cone & Belding, Campbell Ewald, Initiative, Mullen, R/GA, etc.), Publicis (Digitas, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, etc.), Havas, Horizon Media, Dentsu Aegis, etc.  We have also engaged specifically with all of the following client account teams across these agencies: Unilever, Kimberly Clark, General Mills, Abbott, TJ Max, Marshall’s, Macy’s, MGM Borgata, Computer Associates, Weight Watchers, Deezer, Bank of Oklahoma (includes other regional banks), BMW, US Postal Service, US Army, Coca-Cola, Exxon-Mobile, Hershey’s, NY Lottery, Aruba Tourism, Staples, JC Penney, Walgreen’s, Victoria’s Secret, etc.  But realistically, there is no way we can develop these opportunities without a full Sales team.


One last piece of news:  on the  IP front, we just converted our latest Provisional Patent filing, which solves an industry-wide problem that Google acknowledged to us would represent “several hundred million dollars” in additional/incremental gross revenue to Google.


Please let me know quickly if you’re interested in taking advantage of the 25% equity bonus deal in our current bridge.

Linkstorm

September 26, 2017

Linkstorm Update


This is a quick rundown of Linkstorm’s recent progress:  campaigns that are already running or about to launch, even as we await additional word from Kay Jewelers, IBM and others about Q4.  Also, click the following link for the 10-minute video of David Sidman’s presentation to The Keiretsu Forum in Philadelphia:  https://youtu.be/25mDemGZpL4

 

On the customer front:

 

IBM is about to launch on Oct 1, as the first of the 12 Product Areas we have engaged with under the sponsorship of the Chief Digital Officer and the Head of WorldWide Media.  $$ still be to finalized, but this week we received official approval for an Oct 1 launch for Watson (http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/IBMC_GNRT_72B9), as well as a commitment by another of the 12 areas (Enterprise Systems & Storage) for either a Q4 or a Q1 campaign.

 

Kay Jewelers assured us in our Cleveland meeting that at minimum they’d be ramping up their coop advertising with Linkstorm for both Citizen Watches and Bulova Watches.  $$ to be finalized within 2-3 weeks, but here were the last two Kay Citizen campaigns and their $$: http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/CITZ_GNRC_2284 ($35,000) and http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/CITZ_GNRC_1484 ($53,000), and as of yesterday they’ve indicated that the next Citizen campaign will be for about $80,000.

 

AutoGravity is about to launch:   http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/AUGV_GNRC_102E

 

Montblanc is about to launch:  http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/MTBL_GNRC_A5BD

 

Audience-X is a reseller/partner who has been contributing revenue every month for more than a year, and is now ramping up much more significantly, doubling its typical monthly revenue for July and then tripling it for August.

 

Citrix just completed its first test and we are presenting the (excellent) results next week:  http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/CTRX_GNRC_BE52

 

AdTran is running as we speak:  http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/ADTR_GNRC_ADCD

 

Three campaigns in India just completed, via a Reseller we have there:  Jeep (http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/JEEP_GNRC_4CF3), AMFI(mutual fund company in India - http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/AMFI_GNRC_75A8), and HFDC Bank(http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/HDFC_GNRC_FF16).  In particular with Jeep since it’s a global brand, we’re now trying to leverage our excellent campaign performance into getting the attention of someone at Jeep corporate/global.

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