Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Solve Media Raises $6 Million to Continue to Transform CAPTCHAs Into Ads

solve_media_captchaAd-tech startup Solve Media has raised a new round of funding as it continues to try to turn hard-to-decipher CAPTCHAs into sales opportunities for publishers and marketing opportunities for advertisers.

A Form D filing pegged the round at $5.65 million, but Solve Media CEO Ari Jacoby said in an email that the company had actually secured $6 million, and may add another million to that total.

The round will be used to hire more salespeople and look at international expansion. It was led by NAV, with additional investment from AOL Ventures, First Round Capital and Bullpen Capital, Jacoby said, bringing total funding to $15.5 million.

Solve has made it its mission to turn those strings of squiggly letters and numbers that some sites use for security into easy-to-read commercial opportunities. Some of these advertiser campaigns ask readers to type in a brand message, which Solve says helps increase brand recall, instead of deciphering a more traditional CAPTCHA. The same request is made of some Web-video viewers who want to skip pre-roll ads. Other Solve campaigns ask readers to input words that they feel describe the brand.

Jacoby recently said that the company would generate revenue of $13 million to $16 million this year.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work