New startup Infectious wants to satisfy that urge that we all undoubtedly have to spice up our car a little. Make it unique. Express our personality. Etc. Founder Tim Roberts, who was part of the founding Twitter team, says that your car is the most visible social product you own, but it is also the least expressive.
Infectious sells specially designed vinyl stickers that can survive up to two years through car washes, the desert sun and Canadian winters, no problem. And when you want to take the stickers off because your friends won’t go near your car (or you need to sell it), you just blow a hair dryer on it for a few seconds and start peeling – your paint job won’t be affected. This is the same stuff they use to put advertisments on taxies and busses.
You can purchase one small sticker (see TechCrunch writer Mark Hendrickson applying one to his car in the video below) or get stickers that cover the entire car. All of the designs are done by artists, who are paid for their work in exchange for granting exclusive licensing rights to print on vinyl. The artists retains all other rights. Eventually, Roberts says, users will likely have the ability to upload their own art and turn it into a product that they and/or others can buy.
Infectious stickers don’t really compete with bumper stickers. It’s for people who may hire and artist to design art for a car and then get a custom paint job. These projects can easily run into the thousands of dollars, and aren’t reversible, so few people do it. Infectious wants to broaden that market to people who may do this on a whim, and then remove or change it later.
The company raised a small round of funding last year from True Ventures. They are entering private beta today and plan to open up to all some time this summer. If you’d like to get in now, the first 100 people to email firstname.lastname@example.org will be given beta accounts and a 20% discount on all stickers.
Here are two videos. The first is Roberts showing us his car with Infectious stickers. The second is our Mark Hendrickson bravely applying one of these to his own almost new Mazda (thanks to Loren Feldman for doing the video work).