Pollsb (short for Polls Boutique) has raised a Series A round of $1.3 million led by DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures and early-stage investors Zelkova Ventures and PhilQuo Ventures. The Tel-Aviv, Israel-based startup had previously raised $700,000 from incubator and seed funding provider Connector Media, which brings the total invested in the company to $2 million.
Here’s how they pitch the service:
Pollsb is your ticket for a self-discovery ride. Our ride will allow you to learn new things about yourself, and about the way others perceive you. It’ll help you get instant feedback, and ultimately assist you in developing what we call social identity. It’ll even introduce you to some pretty cool people and help you find some pretty cool stuff people like you seem to enjoy.
The Pollsb ride is fueled by questions, on every topic in the world. Joining you on it are all the other active participants on Pollsb. The insights we provide you stem from where you stand in relation to them.
If that sounds a little vague, it’s because it is.
But I signed up for the service and discovered it is in fact a – gasp – polling application platform (slash social network), and quite frankly not the best one I’ve ever come across. Pollsb lets you create polls and mini-surveys based on text, photo, video and/or audio, assign a category to it, tag it and turn it into a widget (see example below). The poll can be shared with the Pollsb community and by e-mail, but the process also involves the creation of embed code with direct integration to WordPress, Blogger and TypePad blogs.
The user experience is really below par in my opinion, and the widgets are fairly limited (only 5 answers per poll, for example). Pollsb also seems a little thin on the business model front; I doubt placing default Google AdSense advertising units will prove to be enough to give their new investors a return any time soon. They also invite advertisers to buy into their “innovative, tailor-made solutions to engage their precise target audience, tapping into their needs, preferences and opinions” but it’s not clear how they go about this.
As I was writing this, I got an e-mail from someone at Pollsb who saw the poll I created for testing purposes telling me that the polling part of the service is only the “fuel that facilitates what they’re trying to do”, which is help users and companies learn new things about themselves, get quick self-feedback, and brainstorm with others. Fair enough, but good luck telling the rest of the world that you’re not a polling application.