As serial a serial entrepreneur can get: Brian Wiegand and Mark McGuire, who managed to sell three companies in the past +10 years, most recently flipping social shopping service Jellyfish to Microsoft (which it later used to create Live Search Cashback), have raised $4.3 million for their new startup, Alice.com.
The founders remain quite vague about what the stealth startup will offer exactly, but here’s what we do know: Alice.com will be an open, online retail platform for consumer packaged goods, focused primarily on linking manufacturers of essential household stuff like tooth brushes, toilet paper, trash bags etc. to end consumers directly.
According to Wiegand and McGuire, consumers currently lack a convenient way to shop for household essentials on the web, while manufacturers of consumer packaged goods are in the market for a fresh alternative to the large bricks-and-mortar retailing services (read: the Wal-Marts and Targets in this world). They add that their model will be unique both in terms of how goods are ordered/distributed and how consumer packaged goods companies can target, incentivize and personalize offers to consumers.
The company refers to Amazon and Drugstore.com as their main competitors.
Alice.com will launch in March 2009, with a closed beta kicking off in January. Until then, you can keep track of what the entrepreneurs are up to on their Flywheel blog, on which they document their efforts in starting the business. I particularly liked the posts on naming the company and getting hold of a short, memorable domain name. They ended up paying $250.000 for alice.com, which I personally think is a fair price.
Let’s see if Wiegand and McGuire manage to pull off a nice exit for their fourth startup, too.