Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

The Anti-EBay? Yardsellr Closes $5 Million Series A Round

Yardsellr is announcing today that it has closed a $5 million Series A funding round led by Accel Partners.

Harrison Metal, which is run by investor Michael Dearing and gave the social listings and transactions site seed financing last year, also participated in the round.

Yardsellr says it uses “social plumbing to power all interactions between buyers and sellers, although users create listings and consummate transactions.”

Welcome to eBay, Facebook-style!

Online shopping with a social element is starting to boom, at least in terms of financings.

Earlier today, Svpply–a social retail discovery site stocked with stuff you and your friends think are cool–got a $550,000 seed round investment led by Spark Capital and Founder Collective, along with high-profile angels like Ron Conway, Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley and former Myspace co-President Jason Hirschhorn.

And Topguest, a check-in loyalty service that was founded just five months ago, announced last week that it nabbed $2 million in Series A funding, as well as nabbing well-known Facebook investor Peter Thiel as an adviser.

Yardsellr takes yet another social tack, organizing the Internet shopping experience around “Blocks”–using the traditional neighborhood yard sale as an analog inspiration for innovation.

Blocks are micro-communities of people interested in the same products, determined via social networking, specifically following them on Twitter or liking them on Facebook.

Founder Daniel Leffel said in an email that it was better to organize this way “instead of categories, because categories organize products while Blocks organize people.”

Then, he said, when sellers list items, for free, they go out into the feeds of members who have joined the relevant blocks. Sellers can then buy additional traffic to their listings.

Yardsellr also handles payments for sales, with the buyer paying a small transaction fee.

That’s opposite from eBay, where Leffel once worked. Several former eBay execs are also working at the start-up.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work