Virurl, a startup that helps advertisers promote their content virally, is launching its public beta test today. It’s also announcing that it has raised $1.2 million in seed funding.
Here’s how the Virurl model works: Advertisers upload the content that they want to promote, then set a campaign budget and a cost-per-click rate that they’re willing to pay. Then users can browse the content and share it with their friends via social networks or email. For each click that they generate, users earn points that can be redeemed for rewards or cash. (Any proceeds from Facebook clicks are donated to a charity of the user’s choice.)
In its alpha stage, Virurl says it has already attracted more than 40,000 registered users who each have more than 100 Facebook friends, and that more than 1,000 content marketers have applied to advertise.
Tthere’s certainly a slightly icky aspect to the idea, but it’s one that seems to be catching on — last month I wrote about a similar company called Wingsplay, which pays users to spread video content. I can certainly see the appeal to advertisers, and at least users sharing the content have to disclose that it’s sponsored.
The round was led by Tice Capital and the Los Angeles Syndicate of Technology, with participation from several unnamed angel investors. MSNBC.com founding editor Merrill Brown is joining the company as chairman.