Visiting Dignitaries

Drunk, Naked AlphaBoost Founder Matt Monahan Is Currently Trying to Sell His Company

alphaboost

Earlier this afternoon, Gawker republished photos and a video of AlphaBoost CEO Matt Monahan drunk and naked during a vacation to India. The escapades were originally shared by Jesse Thomas founder of JESS3, a social media advertising firm.

Venture-backed startup founders are fond of booze-soaked jaunts to unwind from the pressure of crushing it, celebrating a big milestone, or just because they can afford to. The difference here is that Mr. Thomas graduated from ill-advised Instagram shots of popping bottles to sharing a video and photos of a stark naked Mr. Monahan cavorting on the beach, somewhere approaching blackout drunk.

And that Mr. Monahan got caught on tape at the same time that he’s trying to sell his company. Read More

Smaller Than Twitter

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

keepcom

Somehow this passed us by: AdKeeper, the startup from About.com’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 Keep.com 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.

Read More

Metadvertising

AdKeeper Now Wants People to Keep Ads IRL

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

AdKeeper, the very well-funded New York startup from About.com’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