Recently NetVibes, the startup that lets you create a widget-filled customizable homepage, rolled out a free feature allowing users to create widget-based web pages, dubbed Theme Publishing. Ostensibly aimed at users, it also has one eye on potentially charging brands and agencies to create customised home pages.
In other words, Netvibes is trying to monetize itself as fast as possible. To that end it’s also now re-selling its architecture to portals and ISPs which want to let users create customisable home pages.
Germany’s largest portal and ISP, T-Online, has thus now launched launched Meine Seite, a user-personalized, widget-based version of their site powered by Netvibes.
T-Online.de is a subsidiary of Deutch Telekom (which also owns T-Mobile), Germany’s largest ISP, serving some 3.8 billion page views per month. That means Meinte Seite will now reach 37% of all Internet users in Germany, or 15 million monthly unique users. This news follows other partnerships, like that with Rambler.ru (Russia’s largest ISP), Ogilvy, Razorfish and others.
It’s a win for Netvibes, as they attempt to hit profitability later this year. Netvibes has $16 million in backing from Index Ventures and Accel Partners and received seed funding from Neil Rimer, Marc Andreessen, Pierre Chappaz and Martin Varsavsky.
Netvibes’ Theme Publishing is not just aimed at users – it’s aimed at brands and their ad agencies that want to create their own microsites featuring their widgets for social networks and feeds. It’s all part of their attmpt to claw back momentum from copycats like iGoogle. And they are also working on a new realtime feed reader.