Refer.ly: recommending products for personal profit

Danielle Morrill Credit: flickr/Ryan Resella

Startup redirects affiliate payments to those who recommend products, gives them slice of $3 billion in affiliate commerce.

Danielle Morrill, startup veteran from companies like Twilio, has been working on this idea for years, and is now far enough along to become part of the next Y Combinator class. The "affiliate-for-everyone" model avoids the hassle of registering for various programs directly. Referrers are tracked downline, so if your praise of a book to a friend gets passed to third party who buys, you get the fee.

Morrill taught herself to program while the first non-founding employee of Twilio, which has raised more than $33 million in VC funding. While users will get only small amounts of money per referral, the amounts may add up, and can be donated to charity. Other rewards may be offered once the service gets beyond the public beta stage.

Cool idea

Awesome. Love to see talented folks pursuing the redirecting of ad revenue to the publishers of UGC, ie, the users of the network.

William Carleton on geekwire.com

Danielle is amazing, and 500 Startups is proud to be a backer for her new venture.

Dave McClure on techcrunch.com

IMHO, this could be more exciting than Pinterest. Both female (70-80% of Pinterest users) and male (kinda left-out from Pinterest) would benefit more directly from sharing their opinions / experience.

Sukan Makmuri on techcrunch.com

Not new

I'm an old affiliate marketing guy and have thought about this for years. I applaud her for actually doing something about.

Sanj Goyle on techcrunch.com

It reminds me more of fatwallet/live cash back services, most users probably will simply get more money back from their own purchases than referrals.

Eric Peters on geekwire.com

There are similar concepts out there such as this one: www.partofdeal.com; it is all about execution and getting the word out.

PartofDeal on techcrunch.com

Interesting …

Unfortunately, the ecommerce company for which I work has had to completely abandoned affiliate marketing. Almost all of our affiliate fees were going to scammers who were using Google Adwords and bidding on our brand terms.

jbenz on news.ycombinator.com

The thing is affiliate marketing has a ridiculously low ROI if you're NOT bidding or ranking for brand terms... for most products, especially if you're a no-name.

AznHisoka on news.ycombinator.com

With a sub-affiliate model, affiliate scammers will be all over this (especially if there is no real vetting process). These are the type of links that Twitter spammers would love to pump out in the wild.

minouye on news.ycombinator.com

Will services like this make product placement in blogs and Facebook posts even more obnoxious?

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