News about <![CDATA[marketplace]]> News about en-us <![CDATA[Etsy Details Pricing For Wholesale Business, Now Nearing Public Launch]]>  Etsy announced a new channel for its online crafts marketplace last year, with the launch of Etsy Wholesale. The service, which allows sellers to connect with qualified retailers around the U.S. and elsewhere, is now nearly ready to exit from beta testing, the company says today, with a public launch set for later this summer. More importantly, Etsy is now announcing the pricing for this… Read More
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<![CDATA[Freelancer Marketplace Ooomf Becomes Crew, Grabs $2.1 Million]]>  Ooomf, the one-time app discovery startup which last year relaunched as a freelancer marketplace to connect mobile and web developers with projects that fit their skill set, is now changing its name to Crew, and announcing new funding. The company has raised an additional $2.1 million in a new round led by Fred Destin of Atlas Venture, investors in other marketplaces like Moo.com, Creative… Read More
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<![CDATA[TaskRabbit For Business Service Quietly Disappears]]> Read More
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<![CDATA[Camperoo Helps Parents Find And Book Summer Camps & Other Activities For Kids]]> Read More
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<![CDATA[YC Alum Asseta, A Marketplace For Used Manufacturing Equipment, Raises $535K]]> Asseta, the B2B marketplace for used manufacturing equipment which was sort of the odd one out in Y Combinator’s summer 2013 program last year, has now scored a seed round of $535,000. Investors included Ace & Company, Beenos Partners, Matt Huang, and others, as well as help from the WeFunder and AngelList crowdfunding platforms. The latter two were responsible for $271,000 of the funding. The founders say they didn’t plan to raise most of the round via crowdfunding, but it worked out because of their “unsexy” marketplace concept. “Today, most software-focused VCs don’t have insight into the unique challenges in hardware markets,” says CEO Anton Brevde. ”It’s kind of ironic because we’re disrupting the industry that gave venture capital its start,” He also tells TechCrunch that almost all of the company’s investors had a connection to manufacturing and had first-hand experience with the problem Asseta is solving, describing them as “people that had seen a room full of equipment thrown out because the owner had no use for it.” The company, for background, launched an online marketplace last August aimed at eliminating the middleman in transactions involving the buying and selling of used manufacturing equipment, primarily semiconductor equipment to start. Three of the four founders at Asseta have a background in this industry, and spotted the potential there to change how things were usually done – that is, through equipment brokers whose sales’ process is far less than transparent. The company notes this $100 billion industry has been stagnant for over 20 years, operating through these middlemen and traditional auctions. With Asseta, sellers can instead create their own equipment listings with the make, model, year, description, etc., and Asseta will even go on site to take photographs, if need be. The company also handles the payment, shipment and fulfillment, taking only a 5-10% transaction fee, which Brevde says is lower than the industry standard of 50%. Since its launch, Asseta has talked with fellow Y Combinator alum Soylent about the difficulty in finding affordable manufacturing equipment, and hopes to expand to support more hardware startups in the future, too. For now, the company is taking a vertical-by-vertical approach, beginning with the semiconductor industry, then moving on to high-tech industries, and, eventually, all used industrial equipment. To date, Asseta has added over 200,000 listings to its site and is growing at 50% month-over-month. Brevde declined to discuss the number of transactions Asseta has handled or revenue, however. The new funding]]> <![CDATA[Snapdeal Launches Local Language Site As Indian E-Commerce Goes Native]]> Snapdeal, the eBay-backed Indian marketplace, has launched local language versions of its site in a move aimed at wooing over one-third of the country’s non-English speaking Internet users. Snapdeal’s latest move also underscores a shift in India’s over $3 billion (excluding online travel) e-commerce market, which is increasingly becoming less ‘elite’, as more users from smaller towns are accessing Internet on their phones and even buying products from Snapdeal, Flipkart and Myntra. With over 20 million users, nearly half of Snapdeal’s total sales comes from smaller Indian cities. “We are expecting a 20% increase in our traffic from the local language addition,” said Ankit Khanna, vice president at Snapdeal. The startup has launched its site in two of the most spoken Indian languages — Hindi and Tamil — and it plans to add several others over next few months. India has around 200 million Internet users, of which, around one third are accessing content in the local languages. The local language user base is growing at 40% annually, according to the IAMAI. “Shopping online has caught up in India like wildfire. However, there are many users in our nation who are quite conversant with the internet but prefer content in their native languages which may not be English,” added Khanna. As India’s biggest e-commerce retailers seek to add new customers, they need to look beyond their existing user base and reach out to millions of Internet users who are not buying online. Officials at Flipkart, India’s biggest e-commerce company and other online retailers said they plan to add Indian language versions of their sites going forward. According to CLSA, the next 100 million Internet users in India are not likely to be English speaking. With increased consumption of news and social media content in regional languages, it’s clear that these users can now be graduated to online shopping. Currently, they may not be shopping online because none of the e-commerce sites serve content in their local languages, at least until now. CLSA’s research analyst, Nimish Joshi, says that the next logical evolution for these users is to start buying online, and that’s why more e-commerce retailers are going native. The race to acquire the next 100 million online shoppers is set to intensify with Flipkart and Myntra exploring a merger. Whether or not that happens, the competition will only get more intense in the Indian e-commerce space going forward, and localization]]> <![CDATA[LuthierBuilt marks 4 months online]]> <![CDATA[mytaxi To Switch From Fixed Fee To Marketplace Model — Drivers To Choose 3%-30% Revenue Share Per Trip]]> The taxi app wars are about to get a whole lot more interesting. German taxi startup, mytaxi, is planning to switch from taking a fixed fee cut of taxi journeys to a marketplace model where drivers choose the percentage revenue per journey to give over to mytaxi. This can be between 3% and 30% of the final fare. ]]> <![CDATA[Everything You Wanted To Know About The Giant Elance, oDesk Merger & Ensuing Backlash (But Were Afraid To Ask)]]> While visions of strategic synergies and competitors running for cover danced in the heads of company executives, the scores of freelancers who use oDesk and Elance to find work or hire support don't seem ready to break out the pom-poms. Angry customers let their opinions be heard en masse on Elance's blog this morning, while oDesk's Facebook page drew a similar reaction. And so did the announcement in its community portal.]]> <![CDATA[500px Plans Aggressive Consumer Market Expansion In 2014, We Take A Look At Their New Space]]> Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, 500px's new offices are expansive, impressive and just as laden with exposed brick and beams as anything you'll see south of Market in San Francisco. When we visited last week, they'd only been there a few days, and only about a quarter of the space was set up, but even so it was impressive, and fitting for a startup that's been on a tear since its seed funding round in 2011.]]> <![CDATA[Salon Booking Platform StyleSeat Goes Mobile, Ahead Of Upcoming Series A]]> Salon-booking service StyleSeat has finally made its way to mobile, after seeing its smartphone usage increase from 15% during the company's first year (2011) to now 78% of total usage today. Says company co-founder and CEO Melody McCloskey of StyleSeat's mobile traction, "it's completely blown up in the last couple of years." The company, which has today grown to 200,000 stylists across 15,000 cities across the U.S., is growing quickly as well, as it turns out. ]]> <![CDATA[AbbeyPost, An Etsy For Plus-Size Clothing, Has Its Eye On Democratizing Fashion]]> Like so many other startups, Abbey Post grew out of a personal pain. Founder Cynthia Schames had become fed up with the lack of stylish plus-size clothing available to her. "I was having the hardest time finding clothes. I live in New York," Schames says. "If I can't find stuff to wear, where is everyone else shopping?"]]> <![CDATA[Visually, The Infographics Marketplace, Launches Its New Cloud-Based Collaborative Project Center]]> Visually, best known as a marketplace for infographics, has launched its new Marketplace and Project Center to grow the audience for its cloud-based collaborative tools. Customers can now use the marketplace to create videos, presentations, interactive graphics, infographics and other visual content. ]]> <![CDATA[BloomNation, A Platform For Local Florists, Raises $1.65M From Andreessen Horowitz & Others]]> BloomNation, a startup building a marketplace for florists and floral designers, has closed on $1.65 million in seed funding, the company is announcing today. The round was led by Chris Dixon at Andreessen Horowitz, and includes participation from Spark Capital, Chicago Ventures, and CrunchFund.* This is the first outside investment for BloomNation, which had previously been bootstrapped using founder money...oh, and poker winnings.]]> <![CDATA[Boatbound Announces Bayliner Element Giveaway at 2013 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show]]> <![CDATA[More Woe For Amazon In Germany As Antitrust Watchdog Investigates Its 3rd Party Pricing Practices]]> As Amazon starts to lay the groundwork for online holiday season sales, the e-commerce giant is also facing some fresh scrutiny from regulators in Europe over its practices. Today, the German antritrust watchdog (Bundeskartellamt) is considering an order against the company over unfair pricing practices on its site, specifically for third-party sellers selling on Amazon's platform in its Marketplace. Whether it's coincidence or calculated spin, the news comes on the same day that Amazon has announced that it will be giving selected third-party sellers on its platform a new opportunity to sell products on its holiday deal pages, including the Today’s Deals page -- the first time, Amazon says, that it will be opening this up to merchants other than itself. ]]> <![CDATA[Lista, A Used Goods Marketplace, Raises $9M To Attack Mobile]]> In addition to the free goods that can be purchased on the peer-to-peer marketplace, Listia has been working to make itself an even more compelling shopping destination with the launch of a rewards store earlier this year. Listia originally partnered with Best Buy to provide inventory for the rewards store, which lets users put credit they've earned through selling to others toward new electronics, and they have now added Amazon Gift Cards to the roster as well. ]]> <![CDATA[Sold, The App That Sells Your Stuff For You, Arrives On Android]]> Too lazy busy to handle selling your stuff on eBay or Craigslist, or having a yard sale? Yep, same here. That's why a startup called Sold, launched earlier this year, had me intrigued. Its big idea is to take the whole e-commerce process out of your hands by pricing your items for you, finding a buyer, sending you packaging, handling shipping, completing the transaction, and then getting you paid. Today, Sold is launching on Android, following its iOS debut back in April.]]> <![CDATA[Meals Marketplace Munchery Adds New Series A Investors Menlo, Sherpa Ventures & More, Hires In-House Chefs]]> Munchery, the Bay Area startup delivering professionally prepared gourmet meals you can order from web or mobile, is announcing today it has closed on the remaining amount of its previously reported $4 million in Series A funding, bringing in new investors Shervin Pishevar and Scott Stanford’s Sherpa Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Howard Behar, the former President and head of operations at Starbucks, who invested via Anthos Capital. This makes Munchery one of the first investments to emerge from the new Sherpa Ventures, joining others like Cluster and BlackOps.]]> <![CDATA[Braintree Takes On Stripe, PayPal With Debut Of “Marketplace”]]> Payments gateway Braintree is launching a new service today called Marketplace, an API designed for mobile - you guessed it - marketplace operators. The new platform is already being used by TaskRabbit, a service for outsourcing errands and temporary work projects, which recently began shifting its focus to mobile and enterprise.]]> <![CDATA[Aussie Recruitment Marketplace RecruitLoop Closes $500,000 Seed Round To Fund American Expansion]]> Demystifying the cabal of recruitment, Australian start-up RecruitLoop has just closed a $500,000 seed round to establish a United States presence for its hiring marketplace, which promises to undercut the incumbents by at least 80 per cent.]]> <![CDATA[What's Asseta, A Marketplace For Used Manufacturing Equipment, Doing In Y Combinator? Um, Making Money]]> Thank you, Y Combinator, for not just investing in a million photo-sharing apps. While you might not be personally excited about an online marketplace where you can buy and sell used manufacturing equipment - and, at launch, primarily semiconductor equipment - a new startup called Asseta demonstrates the potential in taking the now familiar concept of a transparent buyer and seller marketplace to a new vertical, which has yet to be flattened by the power of the web and the one-to-one connectivity it allows. ]]> <![CDATA[Meet Helpouts, Google's Secret Plan To Bring Live, Video Commerce To Local Businesses]]> While its roots lie in search, today, Google wears many hats. From self-driving cars and wearable technology to social networking and mobile operating systems, there are few industries where the search and advertising giant has yet to make its presence felt. Lately, however, Google’s expansion has taken a noticeable tack in a more singular direction: eCommerce. With the outsized success Amazon and eBay have had building online marketplaces that seek to remove the barriers around buying and selling on the Web, it was only a matter of time before Google decided to pull its chair up to the eCommerce table. Today, TechCrunch has learned via tipster that Google has quietly been pursuing its marketplace ambitions under the auspices of a new platform that leverages its increasingly powerful cloud services to power live, realtime commerce. The product, which has reportedly been named “HelpOuts” and is currently being tested internally in Mountain View, will take shape as a marketplace that enables individuals and small and large businesses to buy and sell services via live video. With the capacity to connect merchants and consumers on both an immediate and scheduled basis, according to our tipster, the platform will allow sellers to create their own profiles and take advantage of reputation management, scheduling and payment features, while offering robust search and discovery tools for consumers. As its live video infrastructure is increasingly becoming the unifying backend for its expanding roster of realtime products, Google’s new marketplace will leverage HangOuts to deliver services via live video. To that end, the platform will also come integrated with what could end up being a handful of Google products, particularly its young virtual wallet and payment service, Google Wallet. From what we’ve heard, Google began internal testing of the product in late June, but may be at least a month away from a public release. In the meantime, from what we can gather from leaked mockups of Helpouts, the platform seems reminiscent of eBay’s recent efforts to expand its own marketplace with the launch of Secretguru, its concierge-style platform that allows merchants to offer a range of services directly to consumers — from business mentoring to beauty tips. Part of the reason Amazon has sprinted out to such a commanding lead in the eCommerce market is its growing network of fulfillment centers and distribution warehouses, which allow it to produce that magic, online retail bullet of low prices,]]> <![CDATA[How2Recycle Label Welcomes New Participants and First Sponsorship Recipient]]> <![CDATA[Square moves from the smartphone to the browser, building its own online market]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Online Fashion Exchange Bib + Tuck Addicts Shoppers With Virtual Currency, Scores $600,000 From Chris Burch & Others]]> The re-commerce sector just got another vote of confidence, this time from billionaire fashion mogul J. Christopher Burch, who along with a couple of angels have put in $600,000 in seed funding into the online women's clothing consignment shop Bib + Tuck. The service, first launched in November 2012, attempts to bridge the gap between  high-end luxury marketplaces and those that appeal to "fast fashion" consumers like Poshmark or Threadflip, for example.]]> <![CDATA[Fiverr Updates Its Task-Based Marketplace With Slicker Look & More Buyer/Seller Tools]]> Fiverr, an online services marketplace that gives its community of skilled sellers a platform to market and sell whatever it is they can do from as little as $5, is relaunching its website with an overhauled design. It's also adding analytics and tools to help its users turn their Fiverr 'gigs', as it calls them, into more sustained and streamlined businesses.]]> <![CDATA[After 7 Years & 50K Storefronts Launched, Shopify Launches Major Redesign To Simplify Online Store-Building]]> Forrester recently predicted that the online retail market will grow to $370 billion over the next four years, up from $231 billion this year -- a 10 percent compound annual growth rate. In other words, the message is clear: The eCommerce juggernaut ain't slowing down any time soon. In 2013, every business needs some kind of online presence; the problem, of course, is that many small business owners don't have the technical know-how (or capital) to set up their own eCommerce marketplace.]]> <![CDATA[Like A CarWoo For Used Cars, AutoRef Raises $850K Seed Round Led By European Car Buying Marketplace, AutoScout24]]> Pittsburgh-based startup AutoRef.com, which is something like a CarWoo for used vehicles, has raised $850,000 in seed funding. The round was led by an interesting, strategic investor: the large European online car marketplace, AutoScout24, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom. T-Venture, the venture arm of Deutsche Telekom, also participated in the round alongside Innovation Works, plus local angels and other investors. ]]> <![CDATA[Ooomf Shutters Its App Discovery Platform, Relaunches As A Freelancer Marketplace For Web & Mobile App Projects]]> Ooomf, a startup which raised half a million in seed funding last fall for an app discovery platform, is already closing that service down and pivoting to become a marketplace to connect developers, designers and copywriters with web and mobile projects. The new service will operate under the same name, and founder Mikael Cho tells us that during its private beta last month, ooomf has already approved over $125,000 in projects, with 90 percent connecting with one of the site's professionals. ]]> <![CDATA[AlumniFunder Launches A Crowdfunding Platform Where Alumni Can Back Student Entrepreneurs]]> AlumniFunder launched in beta this week with a simple mission: Help create a deeper relationship between current students and alumni, while supporting collegiate entrepreneurship and creativity. To do that, AlumniFunder wants to give alumni a platform by which they can invest in innovative projects created by students at their alma mater. Whether it be for a new science lab, natural language processing research or a documentary film, the startup also wants to help give students access to the capital they need to get their ideas off the ground.]]> <![CDATA[Founded By Early oDesk Employees, Freelancer Marketplace Rev.com Raises $4.5 Million Series A]]> Rev.com, a freelancer marketplace founded by early oDesk employees, is today announcing $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Venky Ganesan of Globespan Capital Partners. Also participating in the round were Craig Sherman (former COO of Ancestry.com) and Austin Ligon (founder of CarMax). All three are now members of Rev.com's board of directors, following the round which closed back in August 2012.]]> <![CDATA[If You Think 10% Is A Good Transaction Fee For Your Marketplace, Then It Will Struggle]]> Editor’s note: Sunil Rajaraman is the co-founder and CEO of Scripted.com, a marketplace for businesses to create content at scale; Scripted has a pool of 80,000 freelance writers and 1,000 customers. Follow Sunil on Twitter @subes01. Like many others, I read the news about Zaarly, reported by TechCrunch’s Rip Empson last weekend, with some degree of shock. Zaarly is a well-funded business with an extremely talented team and ample resources to execute on their original vision, so I cannot understand why they decided to pivot so early in the game. Bo Fishback, co-founder of Zaarly, offers a detailed explanation here, but I can’t help but think they gave up on their original vision way too early. Zaarly’s pivot highlights a much larger point, which is that marketplaces take a lot of time and effort to build. Why are marketplaces difficult to build? The reason is liquidity; Simon Rothman of Greylock Partners writes the best material on the subject. There is always imbalance until you have that moment. People point to Airbnb and Uber as great examples of startup marketplaces, but they’ve only hit liquidity in certain big cities. Try searching for Airbnb listings in niche markets and you’ll see what I mean. oDesk is just about there, but remember it took them 10 years and a lot of resources to build up both sides of the marketplace successfully. Josh Breinlinger wrote a great piece about the early days of oDesk, which provides some perspective on how difficult it is to get the flywheel spinning so to speak. Achieving liquidity is akin to nailing low-cost customer acquisition on both sides of the marketplace. Most companies only have to worry about customer acquisition cost in one dimension, e.g. if you are selling hard drives, the hard drives have a fixed cost associated with production + distribution. Marketplaces are effectively fighting a two-front battle. In his article, Rip noted how Zaarly is doing revenue-wise: At the peak of their “reverse Craigslist” days, Zaarly was processing $1 million in transactions a month. Let’s examine this further: $1M in transactions * 15% fulfillment * 10% transaction fee = $15K in monthly net revenue As a marketplace entrepreneur, you do not want people necessarily making a living off of you. That sounds pretty abysmal, but it illustrates just how difficult it is to build marketplaces. Despite raising ~$15 million, Zaarly appeared to have a pretty significant imbalance in its marketplace; I would assume]]> <![CDATA[Zaarly Shutters Its Reverse Craigslist Marketplace, Goes All In On Virtual Storefronts As Co-Founder Exits]]> After winning LA Startup Weekend, Zaarly almost immediately raised $1 million from a long list of notable investors (even "Steve jOBS"), and then raised $14 million more before the end of the year in a round led by Kleiner, while adding Meg Whitman to its board. Fast forward to today and you'll no longer find Zaarly's marketplace on the Web. And, with the next update to its mobile app, co-founder Bo Fishback tells us, its "request anything" model will disappear from the Zaarly experience completely.]]> <![CDATA[Now 18M Users Strong, Edmodo Makes Its First Acquisition In Root-1 To Become The App Market For Education]]> After spending years working as technicians at public schools, Jeff O'Hara and Nicolas Borg launched Edmodo in 2008 to address what they had come to see as a huge gap in the teacher-student relationship: The need for a better, safer way for teachers to connect and communicate with their students. However, with the launch of its APIs early last year to allow developers to build apps on top of its platform, what began as a social networking tool -- a sort of Facebook or Yammer for education -- has more recently evolved into a marketplace for education apps. ]]> <![CDATA[Airpair Connects Startups With Expert Developers To Get Help With Code Via Online Sessions]]> Airpair, a newly launched service which connects entrepreneurs and expert developers over remote online sessions, aims to help startups build better software and speed their time to launch. The idea's name, which brings to mind "pair programming" techniques, offers its users one-hour screensharing sessions where developers will help review your code, brainstorm architecture, assist with problems, and more. ]]> <![CDATA[Amazon’s Record Holiday Season Boosted Its Third-Party Sellers Marketplace, Too: Sales Up 40% Year-Over-Year]]> Following Amazon's end-of-the-year announcement touting its record-breaking holiday sales, the company today released figures for its third-party sellers marketplace, which also saw record sales growth. Although Amazon declined to provide hard figures, it says that sellers' sales were up 40 percent year-over-year from 2011, and that sellers on Amazon sold "hundreds of millions of units worth tens of billions of dollars." ]]> <![CDATA[Backed By $500,000 In Seed Funding, LiveNinja Launches Its Video Chat Marketplace]]> LiveNinja, a video chat marketplace we spotted in TechCrunch Disrupt's Startup Alley in May, is today announcing having closed a seed round of $500,000 in funding as it goes to publicly launch its platform. The round included angels from the Miami area, where LiveNinja is based, as well as a few from New York and South America. ]]> <![CDATA[Meals Marketplace Munchery Raises $4 Million For Expansion, Now Delivering High-Quality Meals To All Of Bay Area, L.A. In 2013]]> Munchery, the Bay Area startup that lets customers order healthy, high-quality meals from professional chefs, said it raised $3.3 million of an ongoing $4 million in Series A funding in a round led by E.Ventures. Also participating were angel investors (and die-hard users), Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress; Randi Zuckerberg; and El Dorado Ventures' Tom Peterson. To date, Munchery has raised $4.21 million in outside funding, which includes a small seed round from November 2011.]]> <![CDATA[Mobile Marketplace EggDrop Shuts Down Following Craigslist C&D, But Says Slow Growth To Blame]]> EggDrop, a mobile marketplace application with over half a million downloads, is shutting down. The company will inform its current user base via email on Friday. According to CEO Dan Zheng, EggDrop was the recipient of a Cease & Desist letter from Craigslist a few months ago, but that's not the primary factor in his decision to close up shop - instead, it was slower than expected growth that is to blame. ]]> <![CDATA[Mobile’s Hidden Opportunity: Marketplaces]]> Editor’s note: Matt Cohler is a General Partner at Benchmark Capital. He’s responsible for identifying investment opportunities in Internet-related companies in addition to working closely with companies across the firm’s portfolio. You can follow him on Twitter here Building and controlling a marketplace is hard. Marketplaces consist of two sides: supply (sellers) and demand (buyers). To build a marketplace, you need to aggregate both sides of the market. And to control that marketplace, you need to have more visibility into both sides of the market than anyone else has -- in real time. ]]> <![CDATA[If You Can Think It, You Can Buy It: Makeably Debuts A Marketplace For Custom-Made Goods]]> Love Etsy, but looking for something even more unique? Makeably, a new marketplace for custom-made goods, can help. The site, founded by two ex-Googlers and longtime friends, Ryan Hayward and Anastasia Leng, has just launched into beta, offering makers a new way to manage their custom work requests online - a process which, today, is largely handled via email. On the site, buyers can search through a variety of categories ranging from apparel to kids' items to household goods and more, and can check out photos of the types of items the makers produce, as well as the prices associated with the custom work. Buyers can then begin to communicate with the maker about what sort of work they want done, and settle on an exact price and due date.]]> <![CDATA[Amazon’s attempt to commoditize cloud resources falls short]]> ]]> <![CDATA[99designs Makes Its First Acquisition, Scoops Up European Rival 12designer]]> 99designs, the polarizing crowdsourced design marketplace, announced its first acquisition tonight, as the Accel-backed startup scooped up its European rival, 12designer, for an undisclosed amount. In the near-term, 12designer will continue to operate as a stand-alone site. Since raising $35 million from Accel, 99designs has been focused on international growth, said Patrick Llewellyn, the company's President and CEO. 12designer is based in Germany, which has become 99design's top non-English (and fastest-growing) market, with European users now accounting for 15 percent of the site's graphic design contests.]]> <![CDATA[Rakuten-Owned Buy.com CEO Neel Grover, COO Greg Giraudi Step Down [Memo]]]> A changing of the guard at Buy.com, which was bought by Japan's Rakuten in May 2010. Long-serving executives CEO/president Neel Grover and COO Greg Giraudi are stepping down from their roles, effective September 1. Grover had been instrumental behind the sale of the e-commerce site to the Japanese giant for $250 million. The memo does not make clear why the pair are leaving, but it coincides with the two-year mark since the Buy.com sale closed, so it may be connected to an earn-out. It may also be a sign of Rakuten strengthening its control of operations at Buy.com as it ramps up its activities in the U.S. That has included leading a $100 million, strategic investment in Pinterest in May this year. ]]> <![CDATA[Meet the Q&A site where people pay $150 for answers]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Meet the Q&A site where people pay $150 for answers]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Exclusive: Why Glenn Beck is selling pillows, salsa and purses]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Exclusive: Why Glenn Beck is selling pillows, salsa and purses]]> ]]> <![CDATA[After Ditching Auctions, Mobile Marketplace EggDrop Hits Half A Million Downloads]]> EggDrop, essentially a mobile app alternative to Craigslist, is starting to pick up steam. The company now boasts half a million downloads of its app on iOS and Android, with $8 million in listings from across the 50 U.S. states and the U.K. (EggDrop's top two markets). The app originally launched last June, backed by $1 million in funding in a round led by BlueRun Ventures and SV Angel. But that first experience doesn't look much like EggDrop today. In November, the company rolled out a major update (ver. 2.0) which completely replaced the auction format found in the original with more traditional marketplace-style listings. Since then, over 5,000 items have been sold within the app, including electronics, games, furniture, and even grand pianos and wedding dresses. ]]>