Solve Media found that you can use CAPTCHAs not just for Internet security but also to help drive a marketer’s messaging home. And it seems marketing pays. The company got $6 million in funding today.
The round was led by NAV, with participation form First Round Capital, AOL Ventures, and Bullpen Capital.
Solve Media believes that CAPTCHAs are both a good way to get rid of spam and an effective way marketing tool. A CAPTCHA stands for “computer automated public turning test to tell computers and humans apart.” It’s that weirdly shaped word you have to type in in order to prove that you aren’t a spambot.
When you install Solve Media’s CAPTCHA on your site, visitors will not just enter a randomly generated world, but instead will have to type in a quick phrase or couple words that you deem core to your marketing. Separate from spam, visitors can also solve these marketing CAPTCHAs to skip video advertising.
The company says it will use the funding to to expand internationally and hire more on its sale side. A Form D released by the SEC today says Solve Media raised $5.65 million, but chief executive Ari Jacoby explained to All Things D that the amount is actually $6 million and the round is not yet complete. The company could take on another million by the close of the round.
Solve Media isn’t the first company to play with CAPTCHAs. ReCAPTCHA is a program that helps digitize books by typing in words that a computer found difficult to read when translating a book from its paper copy to a file. ReCAPTCHA presents these words alongside a word the computer already knows in order to get free human translation labor. It’s a smart idea that offloads would ReCAPTCHA says would be over 150,000 man-hours into 10 second tasks that both prove that you are not a spambot and help improve the world’s digital bookshelf.
Solve Media is headquartered in New York with offices in Philidelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles.