Smaller Than Twitter

Scott Kurnit’s AdKeeper Pivots to, Where Users ‘Follow Brands’ [UPDATED]


Somehow this passed us by: AdKeeper, the startup from’s Scott Kurnit attempting to create a “like” button for online ads, announced a pivot a few weeks ago. In a Nov. 21 blog post titled, “Another View of AdKeeper,” Mr. Kurnit explained that the site will be relaunching at with “a unique offering that serves the AdKeeper mission in new and exciting ways,” but did not explain the specifics.

The original idea, which earned Mr. Kurnit $43 million from investors including Spark Capital,
First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, The New York Times and betaworks, was to create a network across the internet that would place a “keep” button on ads and allow users to store those ads for later. The company reportedly had a $100 million valuation. “The fact is, 90 percent of people have torn an ad from a magazine,” Mr. Kurnit wrote in an op-ed at All Things Digital. Read More

Playing for Keeps

Stop Keeping Things, Only AdKeeper Can Keep(TM) Things

Keepers: Mr. Michaelson, left; Mr. Kurnit.

Let’s just trademark all the four-letter words, shall we? At the end of September, New York-based AdKeeper sent a cease and desist letter to New York-based KeepIdeas, which owns a website called KeepRecipes. AdKeeper serves up a tiny blue-and-white ‘k’ on online ads so that users can file the advertisement away in the cloud in a little digital Keeper, while KeepRecipes serves up a little orange-and-black ‘k’ on recipes online so that cooks can save them for later. “Plainly, your company has chosen a name confusingly similar to the AdKeeper Marks in order to take advantage of the brand equity that AdKeeper has developed for virtually similar services,” AdKeeper says in its reads the cease and desist letter.

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AdKeeper Now Wants People to Keep Ads IRL

4th ave and 14th St., Union Square.

AdKeeper, the very well-funded New York startup from’s Scott Kurnit, aims to better the banner ad. The idea is that people will clip ads like coupons, save ads like YouTube videos to watch later, and so on, thus generating “engagement” and perhaps “ROI” and also creating jobs for the creatives from firms like Wieden + Kennedy who can be set loose to make keepable ads. But today we saw something that made us question whether we had AdKeeper all wrong: a poster ad in Union Square. For AdKeeper. With a QR code. So you can … keep it. What? Read More

Class Is in Session

Amanda Peyton Fact-Checks the New York Post’s Faulty Tech Coverage

Full-time entrepreneur, part-time factchecker.

In in its Sunday issue, the New York Post put its own spin on data showing that New York City’s tech start-ups racked up $1.7 billion in funding this past year. Using numbers from CB Insights, the paper identified nine “NYC tech giants” based on the amount of funding those start-ups had accrued. But at least one tech scene native was restless over the way the results were reported.

On her Tumblr, MessageParty co-founder Amanda Peyton, who works out of the Makery’s co-working space in Williamsburg, pointed out some of the “half-truths or straight-up errors” in the piece. Her issue wasn’t the numbers, but rather the way the paper described what the companies do. After acknowledging that the tech reporting isn’t exactly in the Post’s wheelhouse, Ms. Peyton added, “But surely someone there should know that Foursquare isn’t an e-commerce company.” Read More

The Start-Up Rundown

Start-Up News: Tumblr Down as Foursquare Steps It Up, Plus Tonight’s NYTM Should Be Interesting

old-spice digg

This week in New York start-ups:

ADSTRUC WANTS YOU. The company that made it onto Betabeat’s list of 10 Disruptive New York Start-Ups for giving outdoor billboard advertising the Adsense treatment is looking for a front-end dev.

TUMBLR DOWN. That is all.

FOURSQUARE STOPPING UP THE CRACKS. Foursquare went all https:// today, a process that started more than seven months ago. The more secure protocol will safeguard users against simple hacks like Firesheep, a Firefox plugin released in the fall that made it easy even for non-hackers to steal passwords submitted over an unencrypted connection. To be fair to Tumblr, Betabeat did notice that Foursquare’s servers were down earlier today as well. Read More