Good marketing is crucial for the success of any company. It can also be one of the largest areas of expenditure. And with the advent of tools like ad block, many ads may never reach consumers. Companies are struggling to find better, more effective ways of engaging with consumers.
Jinglz wants to help companies in those efforts. The startup uses artificial intelligence to measure audience engagement and reaction to video content. We sat down with founder Aaron Itzkowitz to talk about how AI is set to disrupt the marketing industry and where Jinglz fits into that future.
Can you give us a brief elevator pitch for your company?
Jinglz develops solutions that make video content more effective and its distribution more efficient. We do this by using technology to capture data that is difficult or even impossible for creators, producers, and agencies to discover with existing tools. Video content is everywhere, and it’s all demanding viewers’ attention. The tools we’ve built use artificial intelligence to recognize their emotional response and their level of engagement in remotely delivered audience tests prior to distribution.
What inspired you to take the leap and build this company?
I saw a need for advertisers and content creators to have an easy and cost effective solution for keeping their target audiences engaged. Where most people skip or ignore ads, by providing tools that confirm what people like, both buyers and sellers now have a way to engage happily.
What past experiences prepared you to start, build, and lead your company?
I started working in my family business out of college. We had a picture framing factory. It had been a small business with 10 people in the company. My Grandfather, the founder, handed me a broom the first day on the job and said, “You sweep and clean the factory and offices for your first week.” The second week was unloading trucks of 75 lb frame materials. The third week I was making deliveries by carrying packages on the NYC subway. This went on for about one year as I went through every job role at the company, learning from the bottom up.
Eventually I had built the company to 175 employees in multiple locations and led the team by example as I could step in at any position and do the function myself. It was a wonderful experience that gained me the respect of the entire company.
After leaving the family business to explore the technology boom in the 90’s, I became a subject matter expert in the delivery of digital and physical products. I was hired by Hewlett Packard for a 6 month consulting project to lead a team for a new product launch. That effort resulted in our team closing a $140 million sale to Kinko’s in the sixth month. [I’ve had] many other experiences being hired to lead companies in launching new technologies. I could write many pages of those fabulous successes (and some failures) along the way (which I invite any readers to reach out to me directly and I’d be happy to share those stories).
What is your vision for the future of the industry you are operating in?
Artificial Intelligence was just reported as the leading technologies out of all technology in today’s marketplace. By applying AI solutions to industries that have not yet been disrupted by technology, the opportunity is vast.
Being able to gather data (emotional intelligence) for industries like trial lawyers (evaluation of a video deposition of a witness to identify if a test audience finds them to be honest or likeable), film studios (movie trailers), [or] Ad Agencies (TV commercials/video ads) is paramount for their return on investment before spending considerable money on advertising or going to trial.
By providing a quick and cost effective way to understand how people “feel” when watching the video content, has been proven to improve results dramatically (Study by Nielsen on the effect of increased ROI when utilizing Emotional Intelligence to improve Ad campaigns).
Who is on your team and how did you come together?
We have assembled an incredible team of experienced individuals that include day to day staff as well as advisors.
- Our COO, Bill Lickson, was the first Director of Digital Strategy for a $4 billion division of Omnicom. He also served on MTV’s advisory board.
- Ron Erickson, Director, founded Egghead software which grew to 300+ locations. He was also the sole Angel Investor in Double Down Interactive in 2012, which sold just two years later for $500 Million.
- Mark Coleman, Advisory Board Member, led DoubleClick’s sale to Google for $3.1 Billion and went on to become Google’s National Sales Manager.
- Scott Henry, Advisory Board Member, has served as CFO for Magic Leap, Beats by Dre (before and after acquired by Apple for $1.0 Billion+) and the Las Vegas Sands.
We have other advisors that include subject matter experts in Information Technology (former Senior Director of Technology at AOL), Market Research, Branding and Licensing (Multi Billion licensing agreement for Jennifer Lopez) and others that have areas of specialty that will contribute to our company’s growth, success and ultimately return on investment for our shareholders.
Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?
There are a few players out there but not many. The Emotion Detection and Recognition market is still emerging and market research suggests that global demand for EDR solutions across all categories will exceed $20 billion globally next year and over $33 billion by 2023. Our primary competitors don’t provide the features we do in terms of test delivery, user experience, metrics, or granular audience sourcing (if they offer it at all). A lot of those missing features in their products stem from them not really understanding what a marketing agency or a content creator really needs or would find useful. We do.
What does your business model look like?
Our platform is designed around the ability to easily build and deploy on-demand tests to sample audiences at any scale and get back actionable insights almost immediately. There is standard pricing if you want to build and deploy a single test that allows for some configurable options, and then we have enterprise packages available for production companies, marketing agencies, and larger organizations that see the benefit of making our platform a regular fixture in their toolset for gathering audience insight.
What brought you to equity crowdfunding and how do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?
Upon receiving advice from a wall street veteran, we previously launched an equity crowdfunding in November 2017. We liked the idea of raising capital from a crowd because many of those investors became “Ambassadors” of our company and made introductions to their network to benefit both the shareholders and the company.
During that previous campaign we were ranked #1 out of all 165 active equity crowdfunding campaigns in February 2018. Having a very successful campaign, it made sense to open a new offering to new and previous investors by launching another crowdfunding campaign at this time.
The bulk of the proceeds will be used for marketing and sales efforts to fuel the growth of our company.
What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?
I think the most important thing potential investors should know about Jinglz is that we’ve developed and launched a real product that’s ready to generate revenue. Savvy investors know that investing in startups is a long play that requires faith and patience, but they want to see that a company has made meaningful progress throughout the early stages. Jinglz has created something real and useful that has applications in several multi-billion-dollar markets.
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? have you set any future goals for the company?
When the company was founded, my immediate goal was to build two paths. One path was to build a company that would provide solutions that would solve pain points in the marketplace and improve the way companies gather data. The second path was to create an entity where investors could participate, and we would build shareholder value along the way.
I have always taken the perspective that if the right opportunity would come along that would benefit the stakeholders, we would evaluate and take action.
Clearly there are multiple exits that are possible with a company like ours.
- We could launch a public offering when there would be interest in supporting the stock.
- Being acquired for a value that would provide investors with a great return on investment. And it’s not an unreasonable expectation – as we grow our platform, we’ll be collecting voluntary data about our consumer participants. In an era when scraped user data is becoming more and more controversial, having a sizable user base that willingly provides demographic and interest data adds significantly to any valuation based solely on revenue and intellectual property.
And if available until a potential exit, distributing dividends to shareholders from profits.
As I mentioned earlier, we have been blessed to surround ourselves with very successful advisors who have been involved in multi billion dollar acquisitions and exits. I have extreme confidence that at the right time, their input and introductions will yield all our investors a great return.
We at KingsCrowd are excited to see where Aaron and his team take the company. Jinglz is currently raising on Netcapital.
About: Olivia Strobl
Olivia comes to KingsCrowd with a background in venture capital and technology. She spent time at Glasswing Ventures, an AI-focused venture fund in Boston, before joining the KingsCrowd team. There she helped develop machine learning algorithms for the opportunity qualification of preseed and seed-stage startup companies. Prior to her time at Glasswing, Olivia worked in a lab studying the neural correlates of attention. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from Wellesley College.