Macromedia Takes Stake in ePod

Start-up ePod Corp., which helps affiliates of e-tailers sell without sending traffic from their own Web sites, got a big boost on Monday, when Macromedia Inc. took an undisclosed equity stake in the start-up and forged a co-marketing agreement.

Macromedia is the developer of the Flash technology that the ePod solution uses. The deal calls for Macromedia to market the ePod showcase technology to developers that use Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver. Macromedia will distribute the ePod software with future versions of Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver authoring software. In addition, the ePod showcase and ePod software will be featured on the Macromedia Web site.

The ePod technology creates a pop-up box on a publisher’s Web site, and the consumer can interact with, and even buy products from, that box without actually leaving the publisher’s site. The solution is attractive to publishers, because it means they can have affiliate relationships — selling others’ products and getting a cut of the sale — without driving traffic away from their own Web sites.

“This partnership will give Web developers, online merchants and advertisers a truly multi-media, interactive tool for merchandising their brands across the Internet,” said Geoff Clendenning, chief executive officer of ePod Corp.

“The ability to leverage Macromedia’s market-leading position in Web content creation products will put ePod at a distinct advantage in the online advertising market.”

The investment is an attractive one to Macromedia because increasing adoption of ePod may expand the usage of software like Flash and Dreamweaver. Developers coming up with user interfaces for the ePod technology, would create them using Macromedia software. Macromedia has also chosen an investment that it can naturally promote through its distribution channels.

ePod’s other investors include Brand Equity Ventures, I-Hatch Ventures, US Trust and XDL Capital Corp. The company was formerly known as Reflexive Networks.

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