March 01, 2011

Advisory News: MyLikes Raises $5.5M, Adds Mobile Apps

Today, MyLikes unveiled a bundle of strong announcements that show the company continues to get significant traction, becoming the go to word of mouth recommendation service that lets people get paid through their streams, videos and blogs. About 10 months after the company gained seed funding from former Googlers and an advisory board (myself included), they have announced the raise of $5.5 million in Series A funding, led by Khosla Ventures. In addition, Gmail and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit is joining the company's board of directors. In parallel, the company has debuted its first apps for Android and iPhone. Big day.

Unlike traditional advertising platforms which are run of site or based contextual data, such as the page being viewed or the search executed, MyLikes is centered around personal recommendations from friends. If there is a good match of potential advertisers to one's interests, sharing a "like" becomes easy. The service has gained high visibility, not just in the Silicon Valley bubble, but even with A-list celebrities like the Khardasians - kid you not. Advertisers on MyLikes include Coca Cola, Microsoft, Sony Music, Axe Hair products and more.

Paul Buchheit's joining the board of MyLikes is especially intriguing due to his history at Google, where he is credited not just for launching Gmail, but AdSense as well. So this guy knows a ton about advertising success and should provide valuable feedback to MyLikes. He's also been in the trenches at Facebook before joining Y! Combinator earlier this year. I believe the role is Paul's first board of directors position.

For MyLikes, going mobile makes sense as well. The MyLikes On the Go app is now available on iPhone and Twitter, so active participants can get notifications for relevant campaigns on their smartphones, where they can instantly post likes to their streams, be it Twitter, YouTube or Facebook. Where the company can win and get even more visible is through true personal recommendations. There are two things wrong with ads today - that they are interruptive or irrelevant. MyLikes is solving for relevance, and the ads never get in the way of what you want to see.

Also joining the board of directors today is Alex Kinnier, partner at Khosla Ventures, who led the round. Existing investors including Lightseed Partners and Metamorphic Ventures, contributed.

DISCLOSURE: I am an unpaid advisor to MyLikes. I hold a small equity stake in the company.

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