Facebook has just closed a deal to hire Dwight Crow and Christopher Berner, the two founders and only teammates of the Y Combinator used car price comparison site Carsabi. The founders are now looking to sell the site so it can live on even though Facebook won’t be needing it.
Facebook tells me there wasn’t something specific that attracted it to the co-founders other than that “they’re awesome entrepreneurs.” It won’t say what team the founders will be joining. However, we see them fitting in behind the wheel of Facebook Gifts or Events. Here’s why.
TechCrunch named Carsabi one of YC Demo Day Winter 2012’s 10 Best Companies. The startup crawls all available online car sale listings, including dealers and classifieds, to find you awesome deals. It challenges AutoTrade with its unique features like sorting by biggest savings opposed to just the lowest price. Carsabi also integrates social so you can ask friends for purchase advice — oh, and spread the service virally.
That experience might make them a good fit to help the new Facebook Gifts team find people the perfect present at the perfect price. Perhaps a “sort by price” option, a way to ask mutual friends what to buy someone, or an option to throw down together on a bigger gift could come off a Carasbi-influenced Facebook assembly line.
Otherwise, the Events team might work, considering Dwight’s been throwing a few of them as a cast member on the soon-to-air Bravo reality show Silicon Valley Startups. He’s known as quite a jolly fellow, and could help Facebook Events evolve from a functional but somewhat cold calendar tool into something more fun and social.
Events got a smart, long-awaited redesign in July, and its Recommended Events sections are a huge help when you’re looking for something to do. However, it still lags behind Google+ Events, which can collect and share any photos your friends take at an event, and offers fancy Evite-style invitations. The Carsabi founders could use their place in the San Francisco social scene and the YC alumni network to test and promote a revamped Facebook Events product.
In any case, its nice to see that Carsabi respects its users enough not to just shut down their car search hub. That way rather than stifling innovation, this acqhire might see a cool startup in the hands of new leaders passionate about disrupting the car buying experience.
Facebook provided the statement “We are always looking for great entrepreneurs who want to have big impact, and Christopher and Dwight are exactly that. We can’t wait to welcome them both to Facebook.”
And here’s the full text of the “We’re Joining Facebook!” blog post Carsabi just published:
“We created Carsabi back in Oct 2011 with the goal of easing the process of purchasing a used car, and providing a service that aims to index every automotive vehicle and connect more users to their car of choice each day.
But now it’s time for us to take a different turn. We want to take this impact to the next level – and help Facebook users connect and share. Because Facebook is not acquiring Carsabi.com, we’re looking for someone to buy the Carsabi service, so the two of us can focus on our new jobs. We can’t thank all of you that have used Carsabi enough – developing Carsabi has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and we hope we helped you think differently about how to find the perfect used car!
We want to give special thanks to our partners, customers and investors for helping us fulfill our dream.
Christopher & Dwight”