TheFind acquires Glimpse.com

GlimpseA recent press release announces that Glimpse, a specialty shopping search site focused on female fashion launched in April of this year, was just acquired by another startup, TheFind.com, for an unspecificed amount of money.

TheFind is a comparison shopping search engine that scours 190 million products from over 500,000 stores. In contrast with other broad-category shopping sites, TheFind rates products by user popularity instead of selling top search result spots to merchants.

A message from Frank Han, Glimpse’s founder, announces that the acquisition will allow Glimpse to offer a wider selection of brands on their website, including Juicy Couture, Hollister, Burberry, Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch, and J. Crew. In addition, a new search feature labeled MyFinds will be implemented that will purportedly streamline the site’s search process.

According to TechCrunch, Glimpse sold for a rumored price of under $100,000. Glimpse.com’s traffic has not been noteworthy since their launch. Although the amount Glimpse was initially funded for (by Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures) remains undisclosed, its safe to say that if the rumoured price is anywhere near accurate the investors involved decided to cut their losses on this one.

Based in Mountain View, TheFind launched last fall and recently was the recepient of additional funding from Bain Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Lightspeed Ventures to the tune of $15 million.

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Glimpse women’s shopping site acquired by TheFind.com

TheFind.com has announced it will acquire the women’s shopping site Glimpse.com. Glimpse is an online shopping engine that allows visitors to shop for articles by brand name, product type or retail store. The search engine lists items from popular stores such as Nordstrom and Nieman Marcus.

A start-up itself, TheFind is a comparison shopping engine, funded to the tune of $23 million by Bain, Redpoint and Lightspeed Ventures. The acquisition will provide a social component to Glimpse, allowing users to share their finds with friends. The sale is reportedly for less than $100k.


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Lunch 2.0: There is a free lunch - almost

lunch 2.0 logoLunch 2.0 , the latest rage in Silicon Valley, is spreading to other cities - Los Angeles, Bangalore, Seattle.

The movement started when Mark Jen , formerly of Google, decided to gate crash back into his prior turf, to join his buddies in a free lunch - on Google. The lunch hopping started a silicon valley trend, where a group of lunchers would meet up at different corporate cafeterias, to network, hang out and, of course enjoy a meal courtesy of the host company.

What was initially a clandestine operation, is now a full fledged event with companies actually lining up to host the lunches. What companies see is a group of potential employees whom they can assess in an informal setting, for the price of a lunch.

Big names such as Facebook and Microsoft have hosted lunch 2.0 events.

Here is a list of upcoming Lunch 2.0 events

Image# Thursday, September 6- Minekey, Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley.
# Friday, September 7- ThisNext , Santa Monica, Los Angeles
# Friday, September 7- Opson, Bangalore, India
# Wednesday, September 12- Cardomain.com, Seattle
# Friday, September 14- TBA, SOMA, San Francisco
# Friday, September 19- RockYou, San Mateo, CA.

Events, particularly in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, are coming up fast and thick. With all these free lunches, techno folks are going to have to do a few more turns on Nintendo Wii, and take some extra strolls down Google street maps , to say in shape!

ThisNext is hosting the next event in Santa Monica, on September 7th . We’ll do our next report on lunch 2.0 following the ThisNext event.

And we have our very own Entrepreneur Meetup event coming up on September 27th, at Chakra in Beverly Hills. More on that later!


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How (not) to calculate your ad revenue

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We all heard the news that YouTube was starting to put overlay ads on some of its content.

Morgan Stanley’s Internet analyst Mary Meeker presented her calculations of the impact of new revenue source on Google’s bottom line and concluded that the overlay ads could immediately add $4.8 billion of gross revenue and $720 million of net revenue to Google’s annual results.

That is a very high number indeed. Here is her calculation.

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Revenue of $400M a month, $4.8B a year. Of course the problem, as pointed out by Silicon Alley Insider and as it is plain to see, Mary forgot that CPM means cost per thousand ; so the total revenue from the ads is not $4.8B but $4.8M, a minuscule amount.

Once the error was identified, Morgan Stanley published a new estimate of revenue for YouTube and in addition to correcting the error, also changed the assumptions, so the numbers came out to be more “reasonable.”

Two observations here. The first one is that this is not the first time I have seen people forgetting to do a “sensibility” check on their ad numbers. I have a distinct recollection of a business plan that I saw where a very smart guy I knew, kept punching numbers in his calculator and came up with revenue of $500M just from putting ads on his site. I continue to come across these fake high numbers all the time. So always have a sanity check applied to any numbers you come up with.

The second observation is regarding the “analyst’s numbers” and how fluid they are. It is not uncommon (and very often it is the norm) that the analyst comes up with an estimation and then massages the numbers so the answer comes to what they want; not the other way around.

As for the ad revenue, one must take in to account the total inventory available, the sell through rate, CPM rate, CPC rates, click through rate, percentage of allocation between CPC and CPM, the market rates, the quality of inventory you have, affiliate links, the scaling issues, equivalent adsense revenue, and the list goes on. The point is that there is a way to reasonably accurately calculate/estimate the ad revenue number. You might have some leeway in some of the assumptions, but don’t let it get away from you. Do a sanity check.

The second observation, about the “analysts numbers” being fluid ones, is actually related to the first observation of making sure that the number pass a sanity check. A lot of these estimations are “blink” reaction by a knowledgeable person in the industry. The blink reaction includes all the computations one would do in an excel sheet. In this particular example, Mary incorporated 1% of the videos as having ads in them. Where does that 1% come from? Why is it not 25%? If it is 25%, does Google have enough advertisers who are willing to spend the card rate for CPM? So what happens here is that one is using the calculator (or Excel sheet) not as a guide but as a cane; it can’t tell you where to go, but if you are in the vicinity, it can tell you if you are at the right place or not, and it can warn you if you are tripping over anything.

The ad revenue can’t exceed the value you can provide to the advertisers. If you generate $1 in ad revenue, the merchant advertising has to generate $5-$10 revenue. Can your user base generate/support that? Compare that number against the number you calculated using various assumptions and if they match, you have done well.


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