Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to find budding Rule Breakers leads to ads that are taken out of context and an investment that would be easy on the eyes.
First up this week is yet another contextual ad company. But this is nothing like the paid search you'll get on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) or Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) . Instead, Vibrant Media aims to include ads in stories. Stories like this one.
According to VentureWire, the company's IntelliTXT technology automatically reviews content on a website to find words that can be linked to ads. Those words or phrases are then double-underlined, so that when a site visitor scrolls over them, a pitch pops up. I'll admit the idea of having readers of my Foolish Takes constantly interrupted by a stream of pop-up pitches makes me a little queasy. Apparently I'm not alone. VentureWire reports that there's been plenty of negative feedback from journalists and bloggers, who point out that the technology creates a far too cozy relationship between editorial and advertising.
That hasn't deterred investors. Vibrant Media recently closed $25 million in a second round of funding with ABSCapital Partners taking the lead, according to VentureWire. Don't be too surprised. We may not like to see our perceptions of what should be shattered in the name of progress, but industry can't move forward unless such Rule Breaking events occur.
Next up is AlimeraSciences, which I, as a decades-long wearer of spectacles, probably ought to look into. You may have already heard of the firm. Since last summer it has been selling an eye-moisturizing product called Soothe. But that's not why investors are chasing the firm like a screaming baby boomer at a Beatles reunion.
VentureWire reports that the appeal is in the way Alimera has developed its products. The company used an oversubscribed first round of funding to work on an over-the-counter topical treatment for the cornea. The second round, which this week brought in $31.8 million from investors that couldn't participate last time, including well-heeled venture capitalist VenrockAssociates, is to be used for creating a similar treatment for the retina. It could also come in handy for new treatments slated to launch next year, including a topical drop for those recovering from Lasik eye surgery. (Removes glasses.) Like I said -- it's something I need to look into.
Sadly, there were no Baby Breaker public offerings this week, which means it's time to say goodbye. See you back here next week, when we continue the quest for the next ultimate growth stock.
For more Rule Breaking Foolishness:
- Did you catch our last installment of Baby Breakers?
- Skype has always struck us as a Rule Breaker. Can it killVonage?
- Corning (NYSE: GLW ) may be on the cutting edge. Find out why.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers really is contemplating Lasik surgery. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.