Affiliate marketing network Skimlinks has won “substantial” first-round funding from Sussex Place Ventures and NESTA to continue its growth as a commercial hyperlink generator for online publishers. Founder and CEO Alicia Navarro intitially started the site as Skimbit in Australia two and half years ago, a slightly odd decision-making tool, but has now re-branded it as an aggregator of affiliate marketing networks and provides contextual links to more than 7,000 e-commerce sites across 16 networks for customers in including Mail Online and T3.com. The Accelerator Group joined the round, as did Duncan Jennings of eConversions and Alex Hoye of Latitude Group, who is also chairman of the site’s parent company Skimbit. TCUK put the figure at £700,000 — but the company told me the investment was less than that but still “an ample amount for a small, well-run company to operate for a year”.
Skimlinks doesn’t charge sites to add its affliate-link-generating plugin (which is patent-pending), but takes a share of commissions from the retailer. Ordinary links to product pages are automatically turned into relevant affiliate links — and commission rates on each sale can vary from two to four percent for tech retailers and up to 10 percent for fashion retailers and niche sites.