Entrepreneur Uses Virtual Kisses


Local entrepreneur Mark Otero isn’t flirting with success. He’s found it with “Kiss,” a new Internet tool that allows people to search popular Web sites like MySpace or Hi5 and plant virtual smooches on people they like. Otero is the UC Davis business grad who launched the profitable Mochii Yogurt shop in midtown just over a year ago, then immediately started looking to make real money by developing new applications for online networking sites.

Then came “Kiss,” an online application that allows people to view photos and send electronic kisses to those they find attractive. They also can initiate online conversations with people they’ve “kissed.” Since it was launched in April, Otero says about 3 million users have tried Kiss. But the financial breakthrough came last month when Otero and his partner teamed up with MobileGuard, a San Diego tech company, to turn Kiss and a few other applications into subscription-based models.

The 34-year-old says he’s still scratching his head over why his subscription-based Kiss has become so popular. “I was skeptical that people would buy it,” he says. “I guess people just love to kiss.”

Image via Mary E. Lawson

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