eBay and a group of other investors (Omidyar Network, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Esther Dyson, Allen & Company, and Senator Bill Bradley) have bought a 10 percent stake in MeetUp.com for an undisclosed sum
eBay and a group of other investors (Omidyar Network, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Esther Dyson, Allen & Company, and Senator Bill Bradley) have bought a 10 percent stake in MeetUp.com for an undisclosed sum. The company, which helps facilitate real life -- as opposed to online -- meetings between affinity group members, says it'll use the dough to fuel growth.
While MeetUp.com operates on a subscription model, the site runs Google AdSense ads, and one could imagine it being an excellent venue for channeling affinity group-specific eBay products (or offers from Shopping.com merchants) to users. They'd have to be very careful about user experience, though, because some of these folks are paying. Also, anything that succeeds based solely on the quality of the community needs to be handled very carefully. Another possible angle for eBay is building more real-life community for its members. (The company says the Dallas eBay Sellers MeetUp is currently the most active eBay-related group.)
As with its Craigslist investment, eBay will likely rationalize the deal as a way to to watch and learn from MeetUp.com, and incorporate lessons about community-formation and -building into its other businesses.
As an aside, MeetUp founder and CEO Scott Heiferman was also founder and head of early online media buying company iTraffic, which was later purchased by Agency.com.
[Via Howard Greenstein and BoingBoing]
Want to learn more?
Attend ClickZ Live New York March 30 - April 1. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 60 expert speakers to offer an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software
Manage your performance marketing with the right solution. Choose a platform that will mutually empower advertisers and media partners!
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
March 24, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT