Mo Money, Mo…social shopping deals

January 30, 2008

Stylefeeder and ThisNext just announced two big venture rounds.

And the $2mm Series A prize goes to Stylefeeder, the Cambridge-based startup that has its roots at MIT.  The site is technology-heavy in that there’s some complex algorithms going on behind the scenes to match you up, recommend and direct you to people and products you’ll probably like.  Onto the statistics:

  • Stylefeedercomthisnextcom_uv~500,000 installs of their Facebook app with 3 percent of the install base active daily (~14,000) — this active number is slightly lower than the cross-platform average of 5 percent. This is part of a different distribution strategy than ThisNext, which has focused on partnering with tight-knit niche communities and extending their functionality to those properties.  While Stylefeeder’s app has a strong install base, I wonder how strong the traffic bleed is from Facebook to their site.
  • ~150,000 uniques per month and a 400% increase in traffic since 12/06
  • Second round after a seed investment of $1mm in October from Highland Capital Partners
  • Makes money from affiliate links and branded profiles, like the Olson twins
  • Raised cash from Schooner Capital and Highland Capital Partners
  • Previous coverage here

LA-based ThisNext pulled down $5mm in a Series B round led by Anthem and Clearstone Venture Partners.  See my interview with CEO Gordon Gould here, who was previously with Blogsmith (WeblogsInc’s blogging platform) and the Silicon Valley Reporter, which means that the company has close ties with Jason Calacanis. He also started Upoc, one of the largest mobile social networks.

  • Previously raised $3.5mm
  • ~400,000 uniques per month
  • Facebook obviously hasn’t been a focus — 125 users on their app
  • All about co-branding with strong niche communities and representing the influencers within those communities (example: Coolhunting)

So the space continues to heat up.  I’d recommend that merchants get involved on these sites and learn how they work. At the same time, I’d start becoming known on these sites as thought leaders in your particular space — since you know the best products in your niche, start making that known. Build your own mini-communities. It’s a natural extension of your brand and it’d be in a place where people are looking for that.

Written by Scott Hurff — scott.hurff at channeladvisor