EcoMom , a site where moms can shop for healthy and environmentally-friendly goods, just raised $2 million in a first round of funding. The Los Angeles startup first announced $1.1 million of financing in October, but by the time the round closed last week, the amount of money had nearly doubled. New backers include Facebook vice president Chamath Palihapitiya and Google evangelist Don Dodge. The site first launched in February 2009 under the name SproutBaby, then in May of this year the company rebranded as EcoMom. It sells baby food, diapers, toys, clothing, and more. In discussing the site, co-founder and chief executive Jody Sherman compared it to Zappos, the popular shoe shopping site that was eventually acquired by Amazon .
December 17, also known as Free Shipping Day because it’s the last day you could get free shipping for pre-Christmas online purchases, was the busiest spending day in online history. Market researcher comScore said that Free Shipping Day generated $942 million in online sales, up 61 percent from a year earlier. The numbers so far show that this season has been the busiest ever for online retail sales. That’s both a good leading economic indicator for the overall economy, as well as an indicator that online sales are taking market share away from physical retail stores. It shows that online retailers are figuring out how to promote their goods so that consumers make their last minute purchases online instead of in crowded malls. Online shopping has been strong all season .
American Apparel Source Raves About A $3 Million Groupon Deal – Reveals Sales Numbers That Will Erase "Ongoing Doubts About Groupon"We've all heard the scary stories of businesses getting clobbered by Groupon deal s that brought in more customers than a business can deal with. These horror stories suggest that Groupon customers won't spend more than they have to in order to use their coupons. But a source from American Apparel tells us he's seen sales numbers following his company's deal with Groupon "that disprove many of the ongoing doubts about Groupon."
急激な成長、短期間での世界的な展開、次々ときまる巨額投資に 買収の噂 。世界で勃発したクーポン共同購入戦争は、2010年に日本に飛び火、 4月のPikuローンチ を皮切りに、猛烈なスピードでそのクローンを増やすことになる。 大手リクルートの参入 や 日本版Grouponの攻勢 で業界はさらにヒートアップ、現場から聞こえてくる激しい営業合戦は「IT」という言葉のイメージからかけ離れた肉弾戦の様相を呈している。各社の戦略も多少の違いはあれど、営業人員を増やして販売エリアを拡大させるパワープレイが主流、最近はテレビCMもバンバン流れるようになった。
Taulia , which gives companies discounts when they pay suppliers early, announced today that it has raised $3.2 million in its first round of funding. Taulia lets suppliers opt into a program that offers discounts on invoices if companies are willing to pay early. The idea is to avoid excruciatingly long payment cycles, where larger and more unwieldy companies can take as long as two months to pay a supplier for goods. Suppliers don’t have to wait a long time to get paid, and businesses can shave of a little bit of their costs by paying early. The company claims to save other businesses tens of millions of dollars every year through these early bird discounts.
Whenever I talk about apps that allow users to share what they’re watching with friends by “checking in” to a TV show, the first question anyone asks me is, ‘Why the heck would I want to do that?” Social TV startup Miso has been exploring different answers to that question, such as special content , and it unveiled a new one today — a promotional deal with home shopping company QVC. As a marketing effort for QVC’s program The New Black Friday , Miso users who check in to the QVC channel between 8pm on Thanksgiving and the end of the day Friday will get a link to a special product deal that’s only being offered to Miso users. The San Francisco startup says it wants to keep the exact deal a surprise, but it will involve a kitchen or food product.
The fastest-moving game developer on Facebook recently has been Digital Chocolate , which has raced ahead of other mid-sized developers over the past month with a gain of over seven million new monthly active users. The company is rapidly becoming one of Facebook’s biggest platform companies; with 24 million MAU and four million daily active users, it is poised to overtake Playdom , whose traffic has slowed since its acquisition by Disney. Throughout its growth on Facebook, Digital Chocolate has been eager to define itself as a different sort of company, and it’s certainly not slacking off on that message now. “There are a lot of interesting companies out there, but a lot are actually products, not companies,” president Mark Metis told us yesterday.
I just bought a dog sweater from a stranger who lives across the country from me. And I totally blame Yardsellr , a year-old startup backed by a team of eBay veterans who may well be inventing the future of social commerce. Yardsellr CEO and founder Danny Leffel just announced his company has raised $5 million from Accel Partners, the venture-capital firm best known for investing in Facebook, and Harrison Metal Capital , the investing vehicle of former eBay executive Michael Dearing, who’s quietly backed AdMob, Aardvark, CafePress and others. Besides Leffel, ex-eBayers on the team include Jed Clevenger, who ran paid search at eBay, and Rachel Makool, former head of eBay’s community team.
Apparently, there’s still money to be made in text messaging. ReplyBuy, a startup launching today that uses text messaging to deliver Groupon-like daily deals, is a perfect example of just how much life the technology has left. Backed by a number of former YouTube employees, ReplyBuy lets users sign up to receive text messages for daily deals with partner merchants. ReplyBuy users can also text back to purchase the deal, after signing up and saving their payment information on the company’s site.
Milo.com , a startup that lets shoppers see online which products are available on the shelves of local stores, is giving users even more reason to go shopping– it’s adding coupons to its service. Shopping deals seem to be a big focus among location-based services. Facebook, for example, just announced that retailers can offer deals through its Places service . But Milo founder and chief executive Jack Abraham argued that the payoff from those deals isn’t obvious, since shoppers will often only see the deals after they’ve already checked into a location. In other words, those coupons may not bring in new customers, he said.
The days of having to know somebody who knows somebody to get an appointment at the local chi-chi salon could be over, as u sing the online ecosystem as a way to make your life easier and find deals rapidly becomes localized. International business network MerchantCircle today launched its new Appointment Scheduler, a free, easy-to-use online tool for customers to book appointments with local businesses online. Founded in 2005, over 1.4 million merchants currently use the MerchantCircle network to upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters, and connect with customers and other merchants. In addition, regional consumers can find more than 20 million business listings through the company’s homepage or major search engines in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
User-generated shopping site dealspl.us is upping the ante for the holiday shopping season, on Wednesday it’s launching a Money Makers Program that will allow deal and coupon enthusiasts to earn money for each deal or coupon they share, the company told VentureBeat. The site has also launched an easily installable dealspl.us Widget that allows users using Money Makers to monetize their websites or blogs with relevant, money-saving coupons. Both moves are a sign that competition in an increasingly crowded online coupon space is heating up, as cash-strapped users become savvier about finding deals on everything from groceries to haute couture clothing online. The San Jose, Calif.-based dealspl.us is a user-generated social shopping site where consumers come to find, share and talk about great deals and coupons from thousands of retailers. Launched in 2006, the site draws an average of 3 million users per month, with 319,696 deals and 149,650 coupons shared thus far.
Shopping startup Retailigence says it’s creating a “bridge” connecting real-world “brick-and-mortar” stores with mobile and web applications. Now the Palo Alto, Calif. company has enlisted some well-known investors to fund its efforts: Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Dave McClure’s 500 Startups fund. Retailigence takes inventory data from both sophisticated software (like that offered by SAP and NetSuite) and basic spreadsheets, then makes the information available through an application programming interface (API) to developers of location-based apps, shopping apps, and so on. So if a location check-in app is trying to lure you to a nearby store with the promise of a hot new product, it can use Retailigence to track whether that product is actually in stock. In addition to DFJ and 500 Startups, ZIG Capital, Global Brain Corporation, and various angel investors participated in Retailigence’s $1.5 million seed round.
Visual product search company Superfish has received $4 million in third round funding, the startup told VentureBeat Thursday, an infusion it says it will use to muscle up its market position and focus on developing its “visual DNA” search technology. The San Mateo, Calif., company was in stealth research mode for several years before rolling out its first prototype, Window Shopper , in April. The Firefox and Internet Explorer browser add-on allows users to search for images instead of text to find a broad range of similar products across thousands of sites simultaneously. At this time, the company doesn’t offer add-ons for other browsers like Google Chrome, Safari.
New York-based PetFlow is aware of the stigma around pet-centered startups, but it believes it can avoid the fate of spectacular flameouts like Pets.com. The company announced today that it has landed $5 million in funding from Westwood Ventures. PetFlow offers automatic pet food delivery. The company offers flat-rate $4.95 shipping for any order over $20, and it offers simple tools to let you easily choose food, treats, litter, and other pet supplies.