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

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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