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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Current: Kay Jewelers, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, Sage Software, Key Bank, Finish Line, JustFab, Montblanc, AdTran, Priceline, Amgen, Toyota, Auto-Owners Insurance, AutoGravity, Perdue, Bayer.
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 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.
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.
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.
More questions about Linkstorm? Check our FAQ here.
April 03, 2018
LINKSTORM PROGRESS SUMMARY INCL 2017 REVENUE
2017 FINANCIAL RESULTS
Linkstorm finished 2017 with about $374,560 in Gross Revenue on a GAAP/Accrual basis, which is almost 2x better than 2016 and almost 9x better than 2015.
Even this revenue trajectory still doesn’t really count, because this is all still prior to our having an actual Sales team and any Marketing budget at all. In a way it’s all just proof-of-concept – i.e. that even without Sales or Marketing, our product is still so inherently attractive that we’ve been able to achieve all of the following:
· IBM’s first pilot (for Watson) was so successful that they immediately renewed it for all of Q2, then added a second phase to the same pilot (a Retargeting campaign to complement the initial Prospecting campaign). Then in the last couple of weeks alone, IBM addedthree morecampaigns for three new Product areas, all to launch next month. The three new campaigns were the result of informal internal sharing of the pilot results, but once the pilot concludes in Q2, IBM intends to ask Ogilvy to write it up as a formal Case Study, and then to apply it across all of IBM’s product areas. Here’s the initial Prospecting ad: http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/IBMC_GNRT_72B9
· T. Rowe Price (via Maxus/WaveMaker, another of the WPP ad agencies) has just launched its first pilot for the rest of Q1, and they have already declared their intention to renew for all of Q2. http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/TRPR_GNRT_9F05
· Throughout the rest of Ogilvy/GroupM/WPP, we are now in planning discussions with the account teams for: IKEA, TJX (TJ Max, Marshall’s, etc.), Sage Software, BMC Software, and AutoGravity. We were also introduced to about 10 additional account teams by one of WPP’s senior strategists, including Unilever, Kimberly Clark, General Mills, Abbott, Bohringer Ingelheim, Chanel, John Deere, American Family Insurance and others. Further, several of the teams we’re already working with have referred us to Xaxis, which is WPP’s central Trading Desk for all Programmatic media buying. I have also been introduced to the CEO of Xaxis, and am reaching out with a view toward forging a larger strategic reseller partnership that would cut across all WPP agencies.
· AutoGravity’s pilot was very successful, and we’re now in talks to renew, including their own referral to Xaxis since they are now using Xaxis even in the absence of a WPP agency. Here’s the expandable version of their pilot ad http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/AUGV_GNRC_102E, and then the inside-the-box backup version http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/AUGV_GNRC_6F17
· Signet (Kay Jewelers). Signet has now worked with us for a year and a half, and we’ve just survived the onboarding of a new ad agency (Digitas) which is well-known for resisting “Not Invented Here” solutions. The client pressed them to do a test with us, and they acknowledged that we performed 2-3 times better than anything else they were trying. Now they have set us up to receive product data feeds from all three Signet brands (Kay Jewelers, Jared and Zales), and we are just waiting for the budgets to be finalized for Mother’s Day. To help stimulate ideas, we produced a demo for the “Interwoven” product line in which the opening video features all three brands, even though the base unit leads with Jared: http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/JRED_GNRC_199E
· Pacific Union. Launched a couple of weeks ago on the website of the San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com): http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/PACU_GNRC_04CC. They have now requested several additional ad sizes, which will be launching imminently. After we’ve documented a couple more weeks of performance data, I’ll approach the SF Chronicle about a larger Reseller partnership.
· Citrix’s first pilot was extremely successful, racking up click-through rates to the left of the decimal points on many Tech Industry websites, but also performing well on more generic websites like The Walll Street Journal. Now planning a renewal and expansion to launch later this month or early next. http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/CTRX_GNRC_BE52
· Montblanc’s first pilot was extremely successful, and they intend to renew and expand next month. http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/MTBL_GNRC_A5BD
· JustFab’s very lengthy, careful testing over the past year now seems finally poised to take off. We are almost done redesigning a new version of the most recent pilot (http://prepak.linkstorm.net/demo/JFAB_GNRC_606B), and they have also added a second product line (Fabletics). We should be launching both within the next couple of weeks, and I’ll also be meeting the team in person during my fundraising trip to LA on March 19-23 (see below).
· We were invited by the agency OMD (Omnicom) to respond to an RFP for Norwegian Cruise Line, mostly just as a formality. We should hear a decision within the next few weeks.
· BOK Financial (Bank of Oklahoma) has signed MSA and invited us to submit our IO for signature covering two projects, one of which would be used for Email Marketing – a new application for us. They have also repeatedly affirmed that there are many other banking areas to follow if this one works well.
· General Mills has said that they want to pilot Linkstorm in conjunction with their e-commerce partners (Amazon, Peapod, etc.). Our executive sponsor is currently briefing his direct reports and will get back to us soon on next steps.
· Our SMB Reseller Audience-X has continued to deliver several thousand $$/month for the last year and a half, and is continuing to ramp up. I’ll be visiting the team in person during my trip to LA.
· Since almost all major Publishers today have an entire dept that produces custom ads in an effort to lure advertisers, we have initiated a program to reach out to them as Linkstorm Resellers. At minimum, even if they won’t actively resell Linkstorm under their own brand, we are asking them to join “The Linkstorm PPN” (Premium Publisher Network) – a network of trusted websites with high-quality media and the ability to reliably support expandable ads. Good response so far from Disney and TheGuardian.
· Potential for a strategic reseller relationship with MediaMath, who is already our preferred media partner when clients ask us to buy the media for them – but in addition, they are the media partner being used by IBM and Ogilvy for our IBM work, in which we are advertising IBM’s Watson. There also happens to be a strategic partnership between MediaMath and Watson, in which MediaMath is applying Watson’s AI to MediaMath’s data, so as to improve its targeting and profiling. Last but not least, MediaMath has started its own Venture fund. This could all dovetail very nicely, as I also know the MediaMath CEO.
· Related to that, we are exploring a reseller partnership with Anagram (part of Digilant), the MediaMath VAR through whom we actually purchase our MediaMath media inventory (since otherwise we’d be too small for MediaMath to service directly). As with MediaMath itself, the pitch is that they could resell Linkstorm as a better-performing, private-labeled ad unit, which in addition captures extremely detailed data about the customer’s interests (as measured by which of the 50-100+ menu choices the customer clicked through). I’ve been introduced to the CEO and the Chief Client Officer, and have a meeting with the latter next week.
· We’ve now raised $580K out of our original $700K target, so there’s only $120K left in our Bridge overall, and technically only $20K of that is still eligible for the 25% equity bonus deal. However, we will probably extend the 25% discount to all of the remaining $120K still available in the Bridge, because our customer activity is accelerating so fast that I really need to get out of fundraising mode. In addition, we MAY accept as much as $200K additional (i.e. $320K more in total) in order to give us the financial flexibility to create a Self-Service platform which we believe has enormous upside potential, especially since we already have a distribution partner in our reseller Audience-X, which wants to offer this to its 900,000 SMB advertisers. Hopefully/eventually, this would lead to an even bigger opportunity to offer that platform to Google (as in the demo http://www.linkstorm.net/demo/sponsoredlinks/google/fidelity.html).
· On March 19-23, will be presenting to the Keiretsu Forum Southern California on their 4-city tour (San Diego, then three events in and around LA).
· FrontFundR, a Canadian platform for qualified investors, in which we are being co-sponsored by The Keiretsu Pacific NW, is now beginning to produce investments for us. See our page at https://www.frontfundr.com/Company/linkstorm, which also includes our 1-minute video infomercial, as well as my 10-minute Keiretsu Forum presentation video (https://youtu.be/25mDemGZpL4).
· I’m in Q&A followup with several promising prospects from the Washington DC Arch Angels, including one who believes he has the connections to fund our $3M Series A.
·We have received a soft-circle commitment of $1M-$2M for our $3M Series A from two Oracle execs who are launching their own fund. Until then, they have already agreed to serve as a Due Diligence reference for other prospective investors as to why our technology is so unique in the market, why are Data value proposition is so powerful, and why many companies would want to own our patents and technology, including Oracle itself which has been on an acquisition spree for several years trying to corner the market on data sources that power the Ad industry – such as their $850M acquisition of Moat last year, which brought an 84x return to Linkstorm’s second-largest investor.
David Sidman- CEO
November 06, 2017
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:
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.
September 25, 2017
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.