Google Adsense : Biggest Moneymakers

I wouldn’t say that Google Adsense revolutionized the web content business, but it has been “pennies from heaven” for content sites.

Just to get an idea of the scale of the money from the AdSense, here are the biggest earners (the numbers are mostly from 2005-6)

(i) PlentyOfFish.com: Adsense earnings, $300,000 per month. Its a free dating website. Here is a picture of the check from adsense.

About three months worth of Adsense rev. in canadian dollars. It is especially interesting because in August 2003, the site was making about $40/day from 1200 visitors.

Toni pointed out that plenty of fish claims seem bogus, or as she put it, the claims are fishy. It doesn’t even come up as top site under Google SERP.

(ii) Digg.com : Adsense earnings - $250,000 per month. No surprise here.

(iii) ShoeMoney.com: Adsense earnings - $150,000 per month.

(iv) Weblogs, Inc (Engadget.com and other websites): Adsense earning $120,000 per month.

(v) Freeweblayouts.net : Adsense earning $100,000 per month.

There are several other sites that make $50k per month from the adsense earning (podcastdirectory, askthebuilder.com, etc)

The rule of thumb seems to be $0.02 earning per page view.

I really would have preferred for the content providers to be compensated by micro payments and I am still hopeful that Google will lead the way in implementing it.



ProfitLine: A new way to trim your telephone bills, for $7M

profitline logoProfitline, a San Diego based company, in a couple of quick moves, secured expansion series B funding of $7M and also acquired FedCel, an international mobile outsourcing company.

The current and previous rounds of funding came from FTVentures, a San Francisco based firm that provides capital to companies which offer solutions to the financial services industry. Also in the fray is Menlo Ventures, which has always been big in investment into software, information services and communications deals. The current round brings the total venture investment in the company to $39M.

Profitline’s value proposition, summarized by their tagline is “Telecom expense management is going to benefit your business”. A frequent complaint from large companies is their mounting telecommunication bills. ProfitLine provides an outsourced telecom management system. And now, with the acquisition of FedCel, they will increase their sphere of influence into the streamlining of expenses in the mobile market, and provide companies with a tool to finally rein in their hyper blackberry users!


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Joost Comes Out of Hiding!

Working under the code name “The Venice Project”, the web television site Joost, is now ready to unveil its wares to the public. Currently in beta, they are expected to launch the site (which is already generating quite a buzz) on June 30th, 2007.

The co founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, have yet again found a great use for their golden goose - peer to peer (P2P) distribution technology. Having used the concept very successfully in Kazaa for internet file sharing, and in the widely used Skype internet calling, they are now ready to launch a site for distributing licensed content from major media publishers.

Their first coup came in the recently announced deal to distribute content from Viacom, after talks of a similar deal between Viacom and Google owned YouTube collapsed. Joost now gets access to prime Viacom content sources - including MTV and Paramount pictures.

So is Joost another YouTube wannabe? Well not really. For one, Joost is taking care to distribute only licensed content, which has long been the Achilles heel of YouTube. While YouTube will remove content if asked to by the publisher (and Viacom has asked to have 100,000 clips removed from the site!), they do not self police themselves. Besides, YouTube relies on users to post content, much of it unauthorized.

Also, Joost will distribute high quality, full length video content, not just clips.

Looks like TV on demand, is finally here!


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SeedFund : Big backing + tiny fund = giant impact

Google is taking an interesting partnership approach in India as to investing. The search giant has invested in two early stage or seed stage funds - Bangalore-based Erasmic Venture Fund (incubation fund) and Mumbai-based Seedfund. The amount of investment in both firms is undisclosed but are rumored to be small.

Apparently, India is the first country where Google has made a limited partner investment in early stage funds. These funds would essentially look at product innovations in consumer, Internet and mobile services.

The Seedfund has an interesting approach: They started with a group of people with hands on experience with startups in India and figured that the right amount of funding for an Indian startup wasn’t in the millions or in tens of millions of dollars range. It was closer to about $500,000. They also figured they could work closely with about 15 or 20 companies over the next 5 years – and hence arrived at a fund size of about $10 million.

That probably makes them India’s smallest VC fund; considering that the most fund sizes are in the $100M+ range. The founders of Seedfund describe their philosophy as:

In this market, money is cheap – but the right money makes the difference. We wanted limited partners that could add significant strategic value to our startups – and we’ve been lucky enough to end up with a dream team here too: institutions like Motorola Ventures, SVB Financial and others.

Google makes a great addition for sure.

Seedfund leverages the competitive advantage with the growing economy; especially if they are cross-border technology companies.

Considering that the valuation of these cross-border technology companies is getting at par with the similar companies in US, the Seedfund approach has a lot of potential.

Added: Just in case you are wondering as to how big is the VC industry in India:
In calendar year 2006, the total investment by domestic and foreign VCFs (venture capital funds) registered with the government has been pegged at nearly $3B. In 2006 the biggest gainer was the real estate sector, which witnessed investment of over $1B by VCFs and foreign venture capital investors. The IT sector (last year’s winner) attracted just about half of this, or $500M Similarly, venture capital investment in the services sector and industrial products stood at $250M and the pharma sector got nearly $200M in 2006.



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