Sunday, March 12, 2006

eBay's Affinity for Meetup.com

"The online auction colossus has caught a dose of community activism. On Mar. 9, eBay (EBAY ) joined five other investors to purchase a minority share in community Web site Meetup.com.

The investment will total just more than 10% equity interest in Meetup.com, which connects folks to affinity groups like stay-at-home moms or Chihuahua lovers for offline gatherings. Although the companies refuse to reveal the dollar value, estimates put the investment -- in which eBay is joined by Omidyar Network, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Esther Dyson, Allen & Co., and Senator Bill Bradley -- at less than $10 million.

The investment makes sense for eBay as it continues to focus on building communities, says spokesperson Hani Durzy. 'You would never be able to separate the community from the commerce on eBay,' he says.

LOTS OF OVERLAP. Also, eBay is looking to connect to more consumers locally. To that end, Durzy says there is already significant overlap in users. He points to a Dallas Meetup group formed for folks who sell on eBay. Says Durzy, 'We see a similarity in philosophy.' "

1 comment:

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