MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Luminate, the worldwide leader in making digital images interactive, today unveiled the first-ever Image App Store to provide a central location for publishers to browse and choose the specific image apps they wish to leverage for their sites. Luminate also released eleven new image apps designed specifically for interacting with the trillions of images across the web. To advance its groundbreaking platform for image apps, Luminate also announced a $10.7 million Series C round of funding, led by Nokia Growth Partners with participation from existing investors.
"The most successful technologies ultimately evolve into platforms," said Luminate CEO, Bob Lisbonne. "Luminate first introduced image apps, and today's image app store represents the logical next step. In the future, we will open our platform to third-party developers, enabling their creativity to further enhance images and transform the end-user experience."
Through Luminate's Image App Store, individual publishers and site syndications can discover the latest apps relevant to their sites, try image apps before installing them and manage image apps for one or multiple sites. Unlike traditional image galleries where flat, static images are selected for their aesthetic value, Luminate's Image App Store is a place that showcases never-before-seen apps developed for the unique capabilities of images. The Image App Store gives publishers a hands-on opportunity to see how images can transform content.
The Image App Store runs on the Luminate platform, which allows consumers to launch applications within individual images on their favorite websites. The apps available on the Luminate platform allow consumers to conduct their favorite everyday online activities such as shopping, sharing, commenting and navigating directly from images, as well as to facilitate entirely new services made possible by the development of apps specifically for images. Image apps also open new opportunities for publishers and advertisers seeking novel ways to connect with their target audiences.
New Image Apps Debut on the Image App Store
The Image App Store is live today at http://www.luminate.com/publisher/app-store/. In addition to Luminate's existing popular image apps, the new apps enable a variety of activities and provide valuable context to the images being viewed. Image Apps released today include:
Causes - Provides users the ability to quickly donate to such worthy causes as the American Red Cross, St. Jude, Toys for Tots as well as others, especially during times of crisis and need.
Editorial Search - Helps consumers discover information related to the images, based on Blekko's community-driven search results.
Entertainment News – Helps audiences discover the latest news about the people featured in an image. This is a custom app built for Celebuzz.
Image Search - Enables users to view related images leveraging Bing's image search capabilities.
Movie Trailers - Offers users the ability to view movie trailers that are relevant to the actor or actors within the image via YouTube.
Music Clips - Gives users the opportunity to purchase MP3 files from Amazon.com, which relate to the artist or artists in the image.
Netflix - Showcases movies or shows through Netflix.
Soccer Stats - A virtual sports trading card that leverages Wikipedia to provide information about the athlete or athletes featured in the image.
Share Apps – Offers the ability to share through content sharing site Reddit, in addition to Twitter Share, Facebook Share and Email Share.
Twitter Feed – Allows users to view all tweets about the person within the image.
Wikipedia – Lets consumers see Wikipedia entries related to the image.
With the development of the latest image apps and the creation of the Image App Store, Luminate has pushed images further by breaking down the information contained inside to make them useful in a way that can delight consumers and enrich publishers' websites. Luminate will continue to innovate in the image app space to redefine what is possible for images and make them even more social in the months ahead.
Luminate Raises $10.7 Million Series C Funding
Luminate's Series C financing was led by Nokia Growth Partners, with existing investors August Capital, CMEA Capital, Google Ventures and Shasta Ventures also participating in the round. Luminate plans to use this funding to advance its platform for image apps, expand its publisher network and broaden its relationships with leading brand advertisers. With this new round of financing, Nokia Growth Partners, Managing Partner Paul Asel will join Luminate's Board of Directors.
"Digital images are a large untapped market opportunity attracting much innovation globally," said Paul Asel, Managing Partner of Nokia Growth Partners. "More cameras are sold with mobile phones than with any other device. As smartphone cameras become more powerful and ubiquitous, images are becoming more social and interactive. We look forward to working with Luminate as they create new and exciting applications for online images that have the potential to change the way we engage with images in the future."
For more information about the Luminate platform and its image applications, please visit www.luminate.com.
About Nokia Growth Partners
Nokia Growth Partners is the premier venture investor focused on growth stage companies in the mobile industry. With $350M under management, Nokia Growth Partners invests in companies and people that are changing the global face of mobility, communications and the Internet. Nokia Growth Partners offers a global perspective and deep network in the mobile industry to help accelerate company growth. We work closely with Nokia to facilitate successful partnerships between Nokia and portfolio companies. Nokia Growth Partners has offices in Sunnyvale, Helsinki, Beijing and New Delhi. Visit www.nokiagrowthpartners.com for more information.
Luminate, Inc. (previously known as Pixazza, Inc.) is the worldwide leader in making images interactive serving more than 150 million users each month and 30 billion image views per year. Founded in 2008, with the vision to make every digital image interactive on the web, Luminate offers the world's first platform for image applications. Developed by technologists from Netscape and LiveOps, Luminate's platform combines Internet and crowdsourcing technology to deliver the optimal content relevant to online images. Luminate is a private company funded by August Capital, CMEA Capital, Google Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners and Shasta Ventures, with headquarters in Mountain View, CA.
SOURCE Luminate, Inc.