Genieo, a new Israeli start up developing automated personalized homepages, announced the closing of $3 million in seed funding led by leading private investors.
The company introduced visually appealing homepages that are automatically populated with content of specific interest to the user – including favorite websites, news/blog updates, interest orientated Facebook and Twitter friend updates, search, videos, articles and more.
The behavioral-targeted (MBT) content is pulled automatically, removing the annoying need of explicitly entering each source of data by the user. According to the company’s website:
Once installed, Genieo will silently find your personal points of interests. This process is super fast and takes minute to complete. Based on this profile, Genieo creates your personal start page featuring the following features:
- Main headlines from your favorite portals
- A personal feed of news, articles, tweets, media and widgets from your favorite sites.
- Quick shortcuts bar to your topic of interest, favorite sites and to your top feeds
- A search bar powered by Google
Miss Sol Tzvi, founder and CEO of Genieo Innovation said in the company’s press release:
“Our technology transforms a homepage into a personal assistant. Unlike other homepages that require manual selection and editing of topics, Genieo not only discovers user-trusted sources automatically for you but builds an A-Z of personalized content with relevant recommendations, that adapts as your interests, work, family and itinerary change. The size of the seed capital is testament to the market potential our investors see in Genieo – and will help us bring an unbeatable personalized home-page experience to the masses.”
Genieo plans to penetrate the crowded market of personalized homepages by forging white-label partnerships that increase customer retention. The company plans to target desktop applications, telco operators, online service providers, and other media companies. Genieo also plans to launch its own branded version in early 2010. As a senior product manager I must say Genieo did a very good job terms of UI in comparison with most consumer web start ups in Israel. (Related: see Ouriel Ohayon’s post on the poor state of UI/UX in Israeli sites).
Genieo expects to generate revenue is from premium personalization services and search (prominently placed at the top of each page). As TechCrunch reported earlier today, the company faces competition from Netvibes, PageFlakes and iGoogle.