LaunchBit, a startup aiming to bring a smarter approach to email advertising, has raised a $960,000 seed round of funding.
Co-founder Elizabeth Yin is a former Googler, and she has compared LaunchBit to Google AdWords — it’s a self-serve model that allows advertisers to identify their target demographic and bid on ad impressions in email newsletters.
I last wrote about LaunchBit when it left private beta in February. Since then, Yin says the company has created a self-serve product for publishers, too, called NewsletterDirectory. Publishers can paste some HTML into their email templates to start running LaunchBit ads, then track their results on the NewsletterDirectory website. They can also bring up a list of the ads that will potentially show up in their newsletter and remove the ones they don’t like.
“This wouldn’t work on the web, because there’s a continuous flow of traffic going to a given website and so, ads are changing all the time,” Yin says. “But email gets sent at distinct times.”
As for the funding, it comes from 500 Startups (where LaunchBit was incubated), Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s VegasTech Fund, TriplePoint Capital, Bruno Bowden (ex-Google), Andrew Chen, David Hauser (Grasshopper Group), Siamak Taghaddos (Grasshopper Group), Yee Lee (One Jackson, Katango), Srini Panguluri (Tagstand, Project Wedding), and Omar Seyal (Tagstand).
And, as you might guess from the presence of the VegasTechFund on that list, LaunchBit is planning to move from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas in the fall. Yin says that she and her co-founder Jennifer Chin both grew up in the Valley, but adds, “We’ve bought into the vision of Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project and are excited about where Vegas is headed.”