Google Buys Sparkbuy, Less Than Two Months After Seattle Startup’s Product Launch
Sparkbuy, a consumer electronics shopping site based in Seattle, has been purchased by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), the startup announced today on its website. The company, which has been around for less than a year, had raised about $1 million, led by Benaroya Ventures and angel investor Geoff Entress. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, but this looks like a clear case of talent acquisition by a big company.
“I know, right? We can hardly believe it ourselves,” the company’s leaders wrote on its website, which also said that Sparkbuy is shutting down as the team joins Google. The Mountain View, CA-based search giant added in a statement to All Things D that the Sparkbuy team will work out of Google’s Kirkland, WA, office.
That’s quite a turnaround for a little startup that just came out of stealth mode last November and only started up its service in late March. The idea behind Sparkbuy, led by entrepreneur Dan Shapiro, was to make online electronics shopping more customizable and powerful for consumers. In fact, with features like little sliders that customized search ranges for price and technical specifications, Sparkbuy was directly inspired by online travel sites like Expedia and Kayak.
Just last month, we reported on Sparkbuy adding products from Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) to its stable, which had already included laptops and other gadgets from Amazon.com and Newegg. That partnership bumped up the product offerings to about 3,000 items.
Shapiro previously co-founded mobile picture site Ontela, which merged with Photobucket in late 2009.
A Seattle-based Sparkbuy competitor, Decide.com, is still in stealth mode. Last month, it raised a $6 million investment round. Decide was co-founded by Internet search expert and University of Washington professor Oren Etzioni.