Social shopping startup Boxedup has been acquired by super-affiliate Venturian Media in an all share deal, terms were undisclosed. Venturian said it would now integrate its existing portfolio of product comparison and shopping sites into Boxedup.
Four year old Venturian has about £60m in sales with offices in the UK, Australia and India. It plans to blend boxeup’s social media platform with its affiliate revenue model as an independent unit to create services for retailers and brands.
Boxedup was launched in July 2007 by Chris Osborne and Jeremy Baines. Osborne will stays on board to lead the next phase, with the aim to build a database of consumer “purchasing intent”. They will be integrating Google’s FriendConnect and Facebook Connect, among other social systems. He told me that prior to the sale he had been looking for another round of funding, but a conversation with Venturian turned into an acquisiton. The team consists of seven people, all virtually located. The company raised an Angel round in Mid 08.
The site is effecitively a product platform designed to help people organise online shopping. Similarly to ThisNext, it allows you to bookmark products you are thinking about buying, but gets a revenue share when someone buys something its users have bookmarked tracking. Other sites like Kaboodle, StyleHive, and Wists provide similar platforms for people to recommend goods sold elsewhere. Another, Rasba, serves as a storefront for retailers and a social network for shoppers, where, if someone buys something from a user’s tracking list they get a commission – a model Boxedup could possibly adopt.
Kaboodle, which never launched in the UK or Europe, was bought by Hearst Interactive Media for between $30 – $40 million, all cash, although that was the heady era of 2007.