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19. Blippar

An innovative mobile application, which unlocks cool digital content from images

Founders: Ambarish Mitra, Omar Tayeb, Jessica Butcher and Steve Spencer
Founded: August 2011
Website: www.blippar.com

The rise of the smartphone has created challenges – and opportunities – for advertisers keen to engage with consumers on their devices of choice. By linking the offline and online worlds, Blippar offers an intriguing solution. Using the in-built camera in a smartphone, the free app uses image recognition to unlock hidden content – such as recipes, deals and games – when pointed at a picture, whether a newspaper ad or billboard.

Founded in 2011, the company has already launched more than 70 campaigns, for clients such as Nike, Samsung, Tesco, Cadbury, Xbox and Virgin – even Justin Bieber’s latest album cover was ‘blippable’. The company is now gearing up for ambitious international expansion, and hopes the verb ‘to blipp’ will soon become common parlance. If growth continues at its current pace, their wish may well come true.