Do It For Me
When Bo Fishback dropped by the Betabeat offices last December, the 9 million foot tall Zaarly cofounder told us how he had just added 1,250 New York-based small businesses to his burgeoning peer-to-peer local marketplace. That way, service providers like graphic designers and fitness instructors could use Zaarly almost as a lead generation engine for new opportunities nearby.
But from a consumer’s perspective, it wasn’t necessarily obvious whether a trained chef, say, would be responding to your request for a home cooked dinner, or just a neighbor with a beat up copy of the Momofuku cook book.
Do It For Me
Back in December, Bo Fishback, CEO of the peer-to-peer marketplace Zaarly, which lets you buy and sell products and services from the people around you, told Betabeat that Zaarly planned to grow its presence in New York City from two full-time employees up to 10 or possibly 30 new staffers.
For the Kansas City-based company, which has raised $15.1 million in a little over a year since it launched, it was a signal of how important New York was both as a market and testing ground. “We hope to learn what we need to know from the New York community to help us go to scale in other cities,” Mr. Fishback told us at the time, along with the news that local staff would be moving into Marc Ecko’s building at 40 West 23rd Street. Mr. Ecko is an investor, along with Ashton Kutcher, Michael Arrington, Crunchfund, and Kleiner Perkins.
But earlier today Betabeat was informed that Zaarly was closing down its New York office. “I’ve heard it’s gone,” said a source. Mr. Fishback confirmed the news, but said it was, “not really intended to be a big deal, and mostly just temporary moves,” he responded by email.
Do It For Me
Zaarly’s New York team is about to get a whole lot bigger, from two full-time employees up to a possible ten to 30 employees. To facilitate plans to make New York City an central Zaarly hub, the startup, which is part of a growing crop of companies trying to build a real-time mobile market for people to bid on tasks and goods, has moved from temporary space in Marc Ecko’s building at 40 West 23rd Street into an official office under the same roof.
Back in 2009, when Mr. Ecko’s urban apparel empire was reportedly facing sizable debt post-recession, the 28,000 sq. ft. space, complete with half-size basketball court and a rumored $9 million-a-year lease, was on the market. But perhaps Mr. Ecko has had better luck with his venture capital fund, Artists & Instigators. According to the fund’s website, its portfolio companies claim over $5 billion in revenue.
Both Mr. Ecko and his fund invested in Zaarly’s $14.1 million series A round led by Kleiner Perkins.