New funding: Visualping, a web monitoring service that emails users when online sites change their content, has raised $2 million in seed funding. The Vancouver, B.C. startup launched in 2015 and has 16 employees. The investment comes from Mistral Ventures, a Canadian fund, and N49P, an AngelList fund. The company raised $500,000 in 2017.
The Visualping tool is useful for people who are tracking home and job listings, searching for price changes and concert tickets, monitoring social media, and — more recently — searching for COVID-19 vaccinations. Businesses use it for surveying competitors, watching for changes in laws and trading applications, and for news gathering.
COVID bump: The platform has 1.5 million users, including some 60,000 Americans who are deploying it to comb the web for COVID-19 appointments. When it detects a change on a website, Visualping emails users a screenshot of the page, including a highlight of what’s different.
The team: CEO and founder Serge Salager also launched RetargetLinks, a company that helped small-scale advertisers create campaigns. RetargetLinks was able to raise angel funding, but the business model hasn’t played out and Salager is now looking to sell. Earlier in his career Salager spent more than a decade in marketing and product development for Procter & Gamble in Switzerland.
Visualping’s Chief Technologist Xavier Raffin and its head of development Cyril Comparon both came to the startup from roles at Amazon, working for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Its head of product, Raphael Tissot, was previously at Cisco working as product manager in artificial intelligence.
Going forward: Most of Visualping’s revenue comes from enterprise customers that need long-term tracking on customers and regulations, so the company is investing in news products and technologies to meet their needs. Consumers, in contrast, tend to use the service for finite tasks and cancel their subscription once they’ve accomplished their goal.