Cozi Inks Deals with AOL, Intel, to Reach More Families Trying to Manage Chaos of Daily Life

12/1/10Follow @gthuang

Big partnerships are often a key to success for startups. Especially one that plays in a crowded consumer tech sector like Cozi, which makes software for helping busy families manage their daily schedules, chores, and activities.

The Seattle-based company is announcing some new deals today, ones that could have a substantial impact on its business. Cozi has formed strategic partnerships with AOL, Intel, Working Mother, FlyLady, and Punchbowl. Financial details weren’t given, but I got the gist of how the partnerships work from Cozi CEO and co-founder Robbie Cape.

For AOL, Cape says, Cozi has created a family organizer for MyDaily.com, a news and information portal aimed at women. For Intel, Cozi has developed an online calendar and to-do list platform optimized for netbooks. For WorkingMother.com and FlyLady.net—news and mentoring sites for busy moms—the company provides access to co-branded versions of its family calendar and other tools. (That means the Cozi brand appears together with the individual site’s brand.) Lastly, Punchbowl, a Boston-area party-planning startup, has integrated Cozi into its online event-organizing software, and Cozi links to Punchbowl whenever people enter a party or event on their Cozi calendar.

The basic agreement is that these other companies use their big distribution channels to get more customers to use Cozi’s free tools, while Cozi drives advertising sales for those impressions—and shares the revenue from those ads with its partners. It’s a similar arrangement to Cozi’s existing partnerships with companies like Dell, Nestle, Gannett, MeadWestvaco, and Meredith Corporation.

“Cozi continues to establish itself as the way to help families manage the chaos of family life,” Cape says.

Indeed, the company has taken an interesting road to the present. Cozi was formed in 2005 by Cape and Jan Miksovsky, both ex-Microsofties. It moved its software from PCs to the Web—and more recently to mobile devices like the iPhone and Android phones—all the while chasing families as its main customers. It has weathered the current recession and now has some 3 million registered members, and 30 employees—up from 23 in March of this year.

Still, the company has a long way to go; it’s not profitable yet, and it has raised … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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