Brad Lindenberg

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Aussie startup CalReply scores decisive win in the Twitter World Cup

7:30AM | Tuesday, 8 July

Australian startup CalReply has been working with SBS to ensure keen football fans haven’t missed a minute of the World Cup.   Using CalReply’s technology, users were able to tweet ‘@sbstv worldcup’ and from there quickly add to their smartphone calendar the complete World Cup schedule, along with broadcast details.   CalReply also automatically updates the calendar entries, with schedule changes, programming changes or updated event details.   Founder Brad Lindenberg says the real value for TV networks is it means they don’t have to market to users who have already subscribed.   He gives the example of a popular TV series, which might get 200,000 subscribers through the first season; rather than having to market to those viewers again when the next season rolls around, CalReply is able to let them know by updating their calendars with broadcast info.   “Twitter is winning the second screen race in terms of adoption,” Lindenberg says.   “(CalReply) represents a significant opportunity to make television more interactive.   “It updates calendars on the fly, which the TV network loves, and the other thing is being able to have a real-time reminder pop up on the phone, and to have control over that it is of significant benefit.”   Twitter has partnered with the company to help it develop its technology.   To date the company has raised $1 million in venture capital funding and $1 million from Commercialisation Australia.   Outside SBS, CalReply was used by World Cup broadcasters in Brazil, Spain and the United Kingdom.   It also has deals with broadcasters of other sports like the Canadian Football League, Indian Premier League cricket and the Tour de France and is currently negotiating with the largest cable TV network in the US.   The startup also operates another product called ShopReply, which allows users to buy products on replying on Twitter.   Twitter Australia director of media Danny Keens praised the CalReply technology.   “Taking advantage of the real-time, conversational nature of Twitter as a platform, CalReply’s integration with SBS TV throughout the World Cup has streamlined the viewing process for Aussie viewers and truly linked the Twitter World Cup experience with TV viewing,” he says.   “It has been great to see this local Aussie start-up play a big role in ensuring that Australian viewers don’t miss a minute of the action, especially given the time differences and early starts faced by Aussie viewers.”

eCommerce venture BuyReply raises $1 million a year after launching

4:13AM | Tuesday, 16 April

Above: Brad Lindenberg   eCommerce start-up BuyReply has raised $1 million from investors including Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures – despite missing its own very speedy funding target.   Sydney-based BuyReply, founded by entrepreneur Brad Lindenberg (pictured above), is a new kind of eCommerce platform that allows offline mediums to become transactional.   The platform, which only launched last year, enables consumers to purchase from an offline medium – such as television, catalogues, newspapers and magazines – with a single click and without the help of apps.   Merchants can print or broadcast BuyReply-enabled call-to-actions in their marketing material, enabling consumers to purchase in real time via text, email or Twitter.   In August last year, StartupSmart reported BuyReply was about to close a multimillion capital raising, with Lindenberg saying investors were keen to close a deal “within 60 days”.   Almost 10 months later, BuyReply has finally closed a $1 million funding round from investors including Valar Ventures, Square Peg Ventures and private equity guru Adrian MacKenzie, formerly of CVC Capital Partners.   Valar Ventures counts PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel as its lead investor. BuyReply is Valar Ventures’ second investment in an Australian company in less than 12 months.   Square Peg Ventures, meanwhile, was launched by Seek co-founder Paul Bassat and Justin Liberman. It is focused on helping early stage tech start-ups become global companies.   While Lindenberg admits the fundraising process took longer than expected, he is happy with the outcome and the company’s achievements to date.   “The company was founded just over 12 months ago so it’s been an exciting and rapid journey so far,” Lindenberg says.   “We now have an all-star investor team and board, which includes Bonnie Boezeman.”   Boezeman, like Thiel, comes from the PayPal family, having spent the last six years as the chairman of PayPal Australia. BuyReply has appointed Boezeman as a director.   “In the modern world of fast-paced internet purchasing, BuyReply is one of the most exciting innovations for the avid mobile consumer,” Boezeman said in a statement.   “You see, you immediately buy, and avoid the hassle of app downloads, QR codes and internet searches.”   Lindenberg says BuyReply will use the new funds to build out its team in Australia and establish a presence in the United States, with either San Francisco or New York serving as its US base.   “We will be keeping our engineering base in Australia but cannot afford to ignore the opportunities that exist in the US market,” he says.   “Enabling eCommerce directly from an offline medium without apps is a groundbreaking opportunity, and represents the future of eCommerce and mobile monetisation.   “Mobile is not going to monetise from advertising like the web did.   “It will monetise from transactions and payments which occur away from the computer and browser, in the real world, and this is exactly what BuyReply enables.”

BuyReply set to go from idea to Silicon Valley within one year

8:50AM | Monday, 27 August

A Sydney entrepreneur is close to a multi-million dollar capital raising for a start-up that was conceived, attracted big name clients such as Ralph Lauren and Sportsgirl and launched all in less than a year.

Is it time to pivot?

5:27AM | Wednesday, 2 May

As far as buzzwords go, to “pivot” is a term that many Australian start-ups would still respond blankly to. But the concept, now established in Silicon Valley, is starting to gain traction Down Under.

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