Kiosked is on a mission to turn any sort of visual or social elements into branded webshops, and with it they're on a mission to connect brands directly to consumers through any sort of media. Their service allows anyone to "kiosk" images and videos with products (or whatever content they like) by putting a flash or HTML5 wrapper around the image. When a user hovers over the content, they can find out more information about the product, or buy it right there in the image or video.
Rather than a single solution, the company sees themselves as a platform on which others can build. Their new mobile app created with help from Tekes Tempo is one example of the products that can be built off of their soon-too-be released API toolkit. The app features campaigns from brands, who are crowdsouring the best photos and images of their product in action. The Kiosked app allows users to take and upload digital content, which can be automatically or manually Kiosked into these campaigns.
Users can also share digital content on Facebook, the web, or nearly any anywhere you can upload media. Because the content has built-in webshops (found by hovering the mouse over the product), friends of the picture taker can buy the products they see in the image. There's more than just contest rewards for using the app; if anyone buys something through your Kiosked image, Kiosked splits the profit they receive off the sale with the user, 50/50.
Kiosked is one of Tekes' Young Innovative Companies, and Kiosked CEO Micke Paqvalén stresses that its important to nurture a good relationship with your Tekes representative. Paqvalén has their Tekes representative over to their office once a month, where they discuss what the company is working on and where they're heading.
In fact, the idea of building this app as a Tekes Tempo project come out of one of their monthly sessions. Paqvalén was discussing their strategy for building a mobile app, and their representative informed them they might be a good fit for Tempo funding. Paqvalén says that he never would have known about Tempo without it, and uses that as another example why it's important to keep good and clear communication.
Paqvalén says that when applying, "The Bureaucratic process behind Tempo is nonexistent." The application was focused on the essentials rather than needing the Tekes jargon. Kiosked was accepted to Tempo in a very short time, compared to the longer process it took for their other Tekes project.
"If there's one thing investors hate, it's surprises," says Paqvalén. "So Tekes is very good training for investors. You want to keep open and clear dialogue so everyone is in the loop."
In all, Paqvalén appreciates having to go through Tekes' processes, as it prepared him to raise their €4.5 million round. When applying to Tekes you have to go through the process of validating your business to outsiders, and it makes entrepreneurs think about tough questions, maybe for the first time. Much of the work, Paqvalén points out, is something you need to show investors later, so its good to take care of anyway.
The Kiosked app will be released soon. The company mentions that they are recruiting. Jobs can be found on their website, or on our job board.
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This series of posts is sponsored by Tekes and produced in co-operation with ArcticStartup to share experiences from startups about their funding experiences.