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Announcing Two Important GrowthSpur Partnerships

July 7, 2010

One of the most important things we’re doing at GrowthSpur is finding world-class tools that our local blog and site partners can use to enhance the revenue potential of their sites. There are an overwhelming number of vendors out there, and we help our site partners by cutting through the clutter, evaluating the best-of-breed in each category, and finding the best vendors.

If you’re an independent blog, why go through the trouble of figuring out the right choice in vendors yourself? That’s one of the advantages of being in the GrowthSpur network: we do the hard work of finding and vetting these vendors for you—and we get you a great deal on their products at the same time.

So we’re very pleased to be able announce a couple of key vendor partnerships with PaperG and Mixpo, two smart, well-regarded startups that provide cutting-edge advertising tools—making them immediately available to our site partners.

PaperG makes it easy for sites to create great-looking ads at low cost. This solves a big challenge for local sites and blogs: when you sell an ad for a few hundred dollars, you don’t want to eat up your profit by hiring an artist to create the ad.

PaperG’s Flyerboard product can turn any piece of printed material into an interactive online ad, with links to an automatically generated mini-site, maps, sharing capabilities and more, all in a format that advertirsers can use themselves to create an ad. And the company’s new PlaceLocal product—which many observers describe as being “like magic”—takes a business’ name and address, search the Web for photos, logos, reviews and other information about the business, and produces great-looking, ready-to-go banner ads in a few seconds. These are great products that are redefining how ads are created and managed online—in fact, The New York Times recently described PlaceLocal as “an ad engine to put ‘Mad Men’ out of business.”

PlaceLocal in action

Over the past couple of years, PaperG has become the leading provider of these automated ad-creation tools to big publishers and media companies; we’re pleased to be able to make Flyerboard and PlaceLocal available to members of the GrowthSpur network and to be PaperG’s representative for dealing with small, independent site publishers. (Disclosure: GrowthSpur CEO Mark Potts is a longstanding PaperG advisor and investor.)

“We’re always looking for ways to get our automation technology to those who need it the most,” says PaperG CEO Victor Wong. “Now we can help hyperlocal publishers reach hyperlocal advertisers by working with GrowthSpur.”

Mixpo takes advertising to the next level, moving from banner ads to video advertising. Mixpo easily transforms the power of TV-style advertising into an engaging online experience that is interactive, targeted and engaging.  The result simplifies the process of delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time in a rapid, relevant and engaging way. Local restaurants can directly engage their customers, car dealerships can capture test-drive interest, event-promotion companies can offer discount coupons and more in this new, integrated and captivating way—the possibilities are endless.These are highly effective ads that bring premium prices from advertisers, and we’re thrilled that we’ll be able to offer our local ad-network partners the ability to use Mixpo to make money with video ads that are easy to create and manage. You can see examples of their video ads here.

We’ll have more vendor partnerships to announce in the coming weeks, as we continue to add tools to the GrowthSpur toolkit for our local blog and publisher partners. And we’ve got some other very interesting partnerships—building local blog ad networks for major publishers—on deck. So there’s more to come soon as we build the GrowthSpur network into a powerful tool for the development of revenue streams and sustainable business models for local blogs and site operators. Stay tuned!

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