REDMOND, WA, April 3, 2006 - Today, Smilebox, Inc. launched the beta version of its category defining Smilebox™ service. The Smilebox service creates a new category called "creative messaging," which draws from related categories including photo services, scrapbooking and electronic greetings, delivering a new medium for communication unparalleled in its ability to convey mood, thought and emotion.
"Consumers are hungry for something more than existing sites for storing, editing and sharing of photos or sending pre-packaged greetings," said Andrew Wright, founder and president of Smilebox, Inc. "They are eager to share their photos and tell their stories in highly personal and creative ways. Smilebox is the first service that truly delivers on that promise," Wright continued.
Early Users Praise Quality, Simplicity, and Value
The primary audience for the Smilebox service is mothers aged 30-65. They have chief responsibility for communicating with their extended family and their friends. Early users from this audience have consistently praised the product's ease of use, quality, design creativity and rich personalization options.
"It only took me about 5 minutes to create my first Smilebox scrapbook - it was very easy to learn and use," said Julie Thornton, a photo enthusiast and participant in the company's recent private beta program. "I haven't seen anything like it out there," she added.
"The designs are very professional and I can personalize them based on who I'm sending to," said Michelle McGregor, another private beta participant and avid scrapbooker. "I also like how reasonably priced the Smilebox designs are. When I buy one, I can reuse it as many times as I want," continued McGregor.
Smilebox Publicly Available
The Smilebox service allows people to choose from hundreds of quality multimedia designs including:
Consumers can personalize their Smilebox design by adding their photos and personal messages, selecting appropriate music, and choosing from a variety of themes and embellishments.
Consumers can then email the basic version of their design to family and friends for free with a short ad or purchase and send the premium version for a one-time fee of $0.99 or $1.99. With the premium version of a design, they can print and play it full screen without ads. They can also change it as often as they wish and send it to as many people as they like with no additional fee.
When a person receives a Smilebox email they do not need to worry about log-ins, passwords or specialty software. The Smilebox plays directly from their email as a rich multi-media experience.
The company will also add a monthly subscription offering in May giving consumers unlimited access to premium versions of designs for a fixed monthly fee of $4.99.
Smilebox, Inc. Partners with Industry Leaders
Smilebox's state of the art content is constantly evolving, with over 100 quality designs offered today and 50 new designs to be added every month.
To ensure that Smilebox content is always fresh and of the highest quality, Smilebox, Inc. has established exclusive content partnerships with industry leaders including Madison Park Greetings, Making Memories, Scrapgirls, and renowned graphic designer and illustrator Debbie Tomassi. The company also has agreements with Somerset Entertainment and Getty Images, the world's leading provider of imagery, film and digital services.
Smilebox, Inc. has secured distribution partnerships with Atom-Shockwave, Big Fish Games, Madison Park Greetings, Making Memories, and most recently with RealNetworks.
Founded in 2005, Smilebox, Inc. is dedicated to helping people keep in touch with family and friends around special moments in their lives.
Andrew Wright, founder and President of Smilebox, Inc., has a proven track record for creating consumer-friendly and profitable businesses on the Internet. Prior to Smilebox, Inc., Wright was a vice president of games at RealNetworks where he founded RealArcade, thus starting an industry around digitally distributed games and establishing RealArcade as the leading player.
Smilebox, Inc. has received $5 million in funding in a round led by Frazier Technology Ventures in Seattle. This is in addition to $1 million in financing Smilebox, Inc. previously received from angel investors including Rob Burgess, former chairman of Macromedia, Jonathan Gay, former CTO of Macromedia and Rob Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks. For additional information, visit http://www.smilebox.com.