Winklevoss Twins Lead Investors in $1M Seed Round for Hukkster

11/16/12Follow @jpruth

Wrapping up an early holiday present, New York startup Hukkster closed on a $1 million seed round this week. Hukkster’s Web-based “bookmarklet” service alerts users when online prices drop on items they want to purchase.

Internet entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss led a new $750,000 investment in Hukkster, with participation from angel investors who also contributed to the initial $250,000 tranche of the seed round.

Co-founders Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan launched Hukkster in private beta in May, then unveiled a new version of the site in October. Bell says she believes some of the new functions—such as sharing so-called Hukk lists with friends and family—will appeal to busy shoppers.

Though Hukkster users can share their wish lists of items they want, Bell makes it clear that the company’s objective is to keep the experience personal among users’ friends. “We’re not a social site,” she says. “Commerce and shopping is a private and individual endeavor.”

Bell also expects Hukkster to amass useful demographic and trend information in the coming weeks. “We’re going to gain a lot of data and insights around who’s doing what this holiday season,” she says.

Finnegan says the holidays are naturally an important time to make a splash in e-commerce. When Hukkster debuted, she and Bell believed fashion and accessory items would be the primary focus, but users are also tracking products in home décor, sporting goods, electronics, food, and wellness. “We want to be the platform that organizes all your online shopping,” Finnegan says.

Funding from Hukkster’s seed round will go towards technology investment and user acquisition. The company is working on an iPad and iPhone app though it is too early to discuss a release date.

Hukkster will need to stay nimble and inventive as this sector gets more crowded, especially among New York startups. Local players include one-year-old Have to Have—one of Joanne Wilson’s latest investments—which lets users bookmark items they want to purchase later.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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