After seeing pitches from eight New York startups, Lerer Ventures narrowed it down to three finalists: Olapic, Dibsie and Markover.
In this episode Ben Lerer and Steve Schlafman, a principle at Lerer Ventures, sit down with the finalists to get a sense of how they have progressed over the month since the first pitch. “That’s like a year in early stage time,” notes Ben.
Olapic, a startup founded by a group of Spaniards in New York, helps publishers crowdsource photographs. The company has released a new Twitter integration and started to ink some deals with blue chip publishers around town. But it’s not clear that they have figured out a compelling way to prove advertisers will respond to this user generated content. Of course, news that Olapic may have picked up a term sheet does get Ben’s interest.
Markover is a platform for creating targeted engagement by allowing users to comment on any part of a web page. The company seems to have grown in confidence from talking with other investors. While CEO Kelsey Falter incorporated some of the feedback from her first meeting with Lerer, she isn’t afraid to tell Ben that some of his ideas are too focused on the investment and not enough on the users. It’s a statement that impresses the Lerer team.
Dibsie has rolled out a new look, but Ben is worried that their affiliate model is a tough business. “They are taking a slice of a slice.”
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And if you need to catch up, here’s the premier episode of The Pitch.