Exit This Way
This is about as close as Marissa Mayer has come to being featured in an episode of Entourage. Today, word leaked that the new Yahoo CEO made her first acquisition–or acqui-hire, depending on who you ask. Ms. Mayer has purchased Stamped, a New York City-based recommendations app cofounded by two fellow Xooglers. Stamped cofounder Robby Stein worked closely with Ms. Mayer when the two were both still employed by GOOG.
Mashable says Stamped’s team, five of whom are former Google employees, will be joining “a new mobile product team to be established in New York under the leadership of Stamped’s three co-founders.” In a blog post published to the Stamped site, the team confirmed that they will be “discontinuing the Stamped product” but are working on a solution for users to export their data from the app.
Business Insider reports that the deal was closed for a ”a nice size,” but nothing too hefty. That should mean some extra spending money for a group of people who have no need for it: Stamped’s celebrity investors.
Sometimes the hardest question to get a founder to answer is why anyone would regularly use their app. That’s particularly true for startups that solve a problem users don’t actually have.
But often, the pitch for why X app is better at rating, or recommendations, or social planning relies on the assumption that it will be populated by users just dying to share their personal tastes or make plans . . . using an app that’s on screen four of their smartphone, right next to Draw Something.
That’s been the problem with Stamped, a remarkably sleek ratings and recommendations app launched by Xooglers last November that allows users to give their “stamp” of approval to books, songs, restaurant recommendations, you name it.
the startup rundown
PERFECT TEN. Last Wednesday Time Inc. brought together editors from many of their news properties to bestow upon us the “10 NYC Startups to Watch.” Only in the startup picking game since lat year’s Internet Week, Time Inc. has already picked winners like GroupMe, which was purchased by Skype for a supposed $85 milion.
The startups that made the cut for 2012 are Adaptly, a social advertising platform; Art.sy, the Pandora of art; Codeacademy, an interactive self-paced tool to learn to code; Enterproid, a mobile platform to segregate work from personal information on a single mobile device; Fab—you already know what Fab does; Fancy Hands, a provider of virtual personal assistants; Loosecubes, a matchmaker for workers and workspaces SideTour; a community marketplace for booking and hosting adventures, Stamped; a five-star-only mobile rating app and Truth Art Beauty; an online platform where users can custom-create skincare blends.
FOUNDER POWER. This Friday Women 2.0 is hosting their New York Founder Friday at 16 East 34th Street. Featured founders Cheryl Yeoh of CityPockets and Eloise Bune of GraciousEloise will begin speaking at 7 p.m. but the event will kick off at 6 p.m. with an introduction by Matt Wolfrom of Makovsky and Company, the event’s sponsor. Founder Friday is free, and open to people of all genders, unlike the LOL-inducing “Jews against the Internet” rally, which is $10 and closed to women. Unfortunately, Founder Friday is already at capacity. Add your name to the wait list and cross your fingers.
RALLY IN THE ALLEY. The Association for a Better New York Foundation and Mayor Bloomberg honored the city’s technology leaders in Union Square last Thursday including Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley, Greycroft’s Alan Patricof, ideeli CEO Paul Hurley and NYTM cofounder Dawn Barber. The Lew Rudin Founder’s Award went to New York City deputy mayor for economic development Robert Steel.
App for That
The iTunes App Store got another offering to the ratings gods today. This one in the form of Stamped, a New York-based startup which boasts two Xooglers as co-founders, Bart Stein and Robby Stein (
possible relations? Ed note: We’ve received word from Stamped’s PR team that their last name is merely coincidental), and more Xooglers within its seven-person team.
When TechCrunch first reported on the app back in September, MG Siegler (in his pre-VC days—how quaint!) salivated over Stamped’s simplicity, which boils recommendations down to whether or not you’d send something to your friends with a stamp of approval. At the time, Mr. Siegler compared Stamped to Instagram when “Simplicity and speed won the day.”