Acqui-hires

eBay Acquires NYC-Based Social Shopping Site Svpply

Mr. 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.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Foursquare Vs. ZocDoc! Groundlink Vs. Uber! And Pinterest Vs. America

rumormonger

THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH! Guys, startup office space in New York is hard to find, and Betabeat is ON IT. Okay, so you remember how Foursquare and Tumblr both had their eyes on the tenth and eleventh floors of that sweet Soho elevator building at 568 Broadway where Thrillist, ZocDoc and Dennis Leary’s production company, Apostle are housed? Okay, so Foursquare was the favorite–but there may be a new contender.

Betabeat has learned that ZocDoc has been in the market for new space–60,000 square feet, ideally on one floor–for a move at the end of 2012. There’s not much out there that meets that criteria. Wouldn’t it be nice to take the tenth floor at 568 Broadway, directly above the teal-painted ninth floor? That way they wouldn’t have to say goodbye to that conference room with the mural of Sanjay Gupta high-fiving Dr. House! ZocDoc would probably really like it if Foursquare would only take one floor, which is more than three times the size of Foursquare’s current office, so that ZocDoc could take the other.

But both companies are growing like gangbusters–ZocDoc already expanded in March and then again in October, Foursquare is the hottest startup job in the city–and have to look out for expansion down the road. What’s a big startup in a small town to do?*

VERY PINTERESTING. Betabeat, when we first glimpsed the Silicon Alley darling Pinterest for ourselves: “It’s for girls!” Apparently, it’s also for middle America. Pinterest’s biggest market is Utah, we heard, and it’s gaining steam with users in other middle-America states, contrary to the usual outside-in adoption pattern most startups see.

Betabeat mentioned to a source that many peeps using Pinterest in New York, who responded. “Don’t people just use Svpply?” Do they? We don’t see too many peeps using Svpply either. One thing we do see peeps using is Tumblr–although we’ve documented that startup’s other problems on the business and developer relations fronts. Could Pinterest–which picked up New York angel Brian Cohen as an investor after taking the NYU Stern business plan competition by storm–be on the way to taking down two New York startups in one fell swoop? Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: What Happens to Zach Klein’s Cabin Now?

rumormonger

NO FUNDING FOR PRESENTS. Last week, a source told Betabeat that outdoor advertising disruptor ADstruc was running low on its Series A funding and would have to raise another round soon.

Not true, says ADstruc’s John Laramie. “We raised $1.1m on September 27th 2010, which means we would have had to burn $90,000 a month for a team that was just four people as of a month ago to be officially out of money,” he said in an email. “ADstruc isn’t even close to spending that much money on a monthly basis. We couldn’t be more pleased with how and where we have invested our money and the great results we continue to see.” However, Mr. Laramie had promised Betabeat a present. We never got said present. Also, when we asked if this meant ADstruc was not raising a round, Mr. Laramie stopped responding. The company is now up to six people and hiring for three positions. Read More