Acqui-hires

eBay Acquires NYC-Based Social Shopping Site Svpply

Score another one for New York tech
ben pieratt eBay Acquires NYC Based Social Shopping Site Svpply

Pieratt. (Photo: Brooklyn Beta)

eBay announced on its blog today that it has acquired Svpply, the NYC-based social shopping site that curates personalized collections of clothing and products. Located on Broome Street in Soho, Svpply raised $550,000 in seed funding back in 2010 from investors like Founders Collective, Spark Capital, SV Angel, Dennis Crowley and Jason Hirschhorn. Since then, Svpply has been bootstrapping itself to 620,000 product views per week and 140,000 registered members (as of May).

Last May, founder Ben Pieratt offered a candid perspective on first-time entrepreneurship, admitting his vulnerability. “I have zero experience or expertise in building a company,” he wrote in a 2011 blog post. “So I’m learning on the fly.”

Mr. Pierrat summed up a list of things he’d need to learn how to do, or Svpply would fail. Hey, in startup parlance, we’d say an acqui-hire counts as quite a success.

At least Svpply’s other cofounder, parallel entrepreneur extraordinaire Zach Klein, brought some experience to the team. Mr. Klein is a partner at Founders Collective, and has had a hand in a plethora of successful startups. He cofounded Vimeo and BustedTees, helped launch CollegeHumor, worked as chief product officer at Boxee and serves as a director for both Skillshare and Svpply. According to AllThingsD, Mr. Klein linked up with Svpply in the spring of 2010 when he “connected with Ben Pieratt, a Boston-based designer who started Svpply in late 2009.”

eBay’s blog post suggests that the move to purchase Svpply is largely an acqui-hire:

With Svpply.com, eBay gains access to technology talent to further improve the shopping and selling experience for its customers. Svpply.com assets – including a talented team of six designers and developers – are well-suited to help eBay advance more personalized experiences and merchandising options on eBay.com.

Based in New York (see the office, above), the Svpply.com employees will work on merchandising, non-search discovery and browsing.

eBay has been aggressively ramping up its presence in New York as of late. Back in November, the online auction platform acquired NYC-based Hunch, a personalized recommendation engine. Then in April, eBay snapped up a massive 350,000 square foot office in the Flatiron. Guess they needed a few more devs to fill up those desks.

Svpply insists in a blog post that the site’s not going anywhere anytime soon. “Svpply is not going away,” it reads. “We’ll continue to bring our users new products each day—allowing our loyal fans to explore beautiful products and stores, all of them hand selected by the community.”

Greg Leppert, Svpply’s third cofounder, said the Svpply team would work on both eBay and the Svpply site. “We’ll continue to build Svpply and our community and apply what we learn to eBay,” he told Betabeat by email. Mr. Leppert also said that Svpply will not be rolled into eBay, but that both sites will remain distinct from each other.

“We’re excited to join the eBay and Hunch teams in the new state-of-the-art technology development center in New York City!” Svpply added in a blog post. Shake them pom-poms, y’all.

Additional reporting contributed by Nitasha Tiku.

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