New York based ShopWiki is announcing $6.2 million in new funding today from VC firm Generation Partners. I wrote about ShopWiki at the end of last month and it’s got an impressive feature set – including wiki style buying guides, user generated video reviews and a cool search by color function. The new financial backing will power a multi-year plan for international expansion, marketing and usability improvements. The company plans to target five countries outside the US in the second half of this year and twenty-five in 2007.
ShopWiki was founded in 2005 by Eliot Horowitz, former DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan and DoubleClick Co-founder and former CTO Dwight Merriman.
I like ShopWiki’s features, but after initially writing a glowing review I’ve given the service some more use and thought. I’m concerned that the feature set, though innovative, is too incoherent. Wiki buying guides are cool, though I’m not sure how widely adopted they are likely to be. Searching by color for clothes and home decorations is impressive, but doesn’t seem very related to wikis. Paying users to submit video reviews is interesting, but seems like something entirely different still.
Perhaps some day we’ll look back at this funding announcement and think that nothing could be more natural than a shopping wiki. If that’s to happen, though, I think the company is going to need to use some of its new found support to develop a more coherent offering that makes sense to users.