Quirky, a social network for product development, has raised $16 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners with RRE Ventures participating in the round. This brings Quirky’s total funding up to $29 million (Quirky quietly raised $5 million earlier this year).
Quirky, which is brainchild of serial entrepreneur Ben Kaufman (he’s behind mophie and kluster), is a platform for product ideas that are born on napkin doodles and in other unorthodox ways. The site tries to use crowdsourcing to develop the product, by engaging participants in collaborating on every aspect of product creation – from ideation, design, naming, manufacturing, marketing, to sales. It’s sort of similar a social network for product development.
Here’s how it works. Quirky lets users submit their product idea for $10. Users can also vote, rate, and influence other people’s product ideas. Every week users can post ideas on quirky to be rated by the quirky community. After a seven day evaluation period, the Quirky community chooses one product from the pool of submitted ideas to move forward through the process. Quirky’s community engages and contributes to every part of the product’s development, weighing in on everything from naming to logo selection to packaging.
Products range from Pivot Power (an alternative to the power strip) to Wrapster (to organize your headphone cords) to Fender (an iPad bumper). Quirky’s products aren’t just sold online; the startup landed retail deals with Bed Bath And Beyond and OfficeMax.
Kaufman tells us that the company is averaging 60 products a year, and expects the Quirky community to make over $1 million on the site’s products in this year alone. He adds that the new funding will be put towards building out the team, especially focusing on hiring in the product development and design areas.
And Quirky is actually going to star in a new reality series on the Sundance Channel, set to debut at the end of August.
You can check out the trailer for Quirky’s show below: