Add another stealth eCommerce startup attracting pre-launch funding from eager investors to your list. That is, of course, if you have one. Last month, we covered Decide, a Seattle-based company looking to bring transparency to the online consumer shopping experience that has raised $8.5 million pre-launch. And now Inporia, a new startup that's also currently in stealth mode, is looking to add a new spin on the apparently tired eCommerce model with a touch of gaming and a dollop of social.
The startup is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Ryan Junee, perhaps better known as an advisor to 500 Startups, StartMate, co-founder of Omnisio (later acquired by Google), and former Product Manager at YouTube. Junee isn't saying much about what we can expect from Inporia, other than the fact that the startup sits “at the intersection of eCommerce, machine learning, and social data” and will be “combining many of the social and gaming techniques that work so well for Facebook games”.
My guess is that Inporia will be making a play at some kind of predictive service that lets users more easily find games they don't yet know they want. Perhaps it will be an in-game product purchase and discovery solution for social games that will leverage data gathered by tracking your gaming habits - or maybe it will be a marketplace for rewards earned by kicking ass in games. Or it might be selling car insurance. I don't know, I'm not a doctor.
But, Junee did tell us that he and co-founder Max Skibinsky (a gaming vet, who sold Hive7 to Playdom in 2010) is making a push to snatch up all of the “best technologists” in Silicon Valley. Whatever that means. So, if you're a technologist, you should know that Inporia is hiring. I'm surprised I haven't received a call yet.
Whatever the future Inporia looks like, the stealth eCommerce solution has attracted $1.25 million in seed funding (as a convertible note, to be precise) from the likes of New Enterprise Associates, SV Angel (Ron Conway), 500 Startups (Dave McClure), Clearstone Venture Partners, Southern Cross Venture Partners, Ignition Partners, Y Combinator, and Start Fund, among others.
There are some savvy minds in that bunch, so, at the very least, I'm interested to see what Inporia has to offer when it eventually peels back the curtain. I mean, just ask the clearly (and always) objective Dave McClure: