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Blocks e-commerce social media Startups

Hukkster and Svpply shuttering doors

hukksterfounders

It’s an interesting time in the social shopping space – brands are busy trying to figure out how to monetise off the back of the engagement they see on the likes of Instagram on the one hand, retailers such as Nordstrom are continuing to partner with start-ups like Wanelo on the other, and yet news is recently in that both Hukkster and Svpply are set to close.

As per a story on Fashionista today, Hukkster, which allowed users to tag items they liked the look of online to receive alerts when they went on sale, sent the following to its users on Friday evening. It was signed by co-founders Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan (as pictured):

“We are writing with the unfortunate news that Hukkster is now closed.

Thank you so very much for shopping with Hukkster over the years and supporting us in our mission to save you time and money on the brands you love.

It gave us great joy creating a tool to help you access your favorite products, must-haves, little somethings, special gifts, pick-me-ups, finishing touches and perfect accents. Please click here if you would like us to recover the product links from your Hukkster wish list and we will do our best to get you this in a timely manner.

We started Hukkster with nothing more than an idea and had the opportunity to build our dream team and make our vision a reality. While we’re sad to say goodbye, we hope our story inspires all of you to challenge the status quo.”

Hukkster was founded in 2012 and had raised $4.5 million of investment from a group that included Winklevoss Capital. Fashionista suggests the affiliate business model it operated under didn’t perhaps scale fast enough to sustain it. Twitter and Reddit users have expressed their sadness about the news.

As TechCrunch reported, a short message on Hukkster’s webpage now reads:

“27 Months
822 Days
1,010,889 Hours Worked (Seriously)
315 Retail Partners
300,000 Happy Shoppers
887,207 Sale Alert Emails Sent
$39,037,108.00 Total Dollars Saved
Thank you for the opportunity to innovate, learn and grow!
Challenge yourself to change the status quo.
Now it’s time for a nap.
Love,
The Hukkster Family”

Meanwhile Svpply, a curated social shopping site that was bought by eBay in 2012, sent this today:

“Dear Svpply user:

We are writing to let you know that Svpply.com and its associated apps — Svpply and Want by Svpply — will retire on August 31, 2014.

We appreciate that you took the time to curate and share collections of your most loved products, so we want to give you time to export the links you’ve added to the site. You can do so through your Account Settings.

Svpply was acquired by eBay in 2012, and the talents and expertise of the Svpply team were leveraged to create more personalized shopping and selling experiences on eBay, including eBay Feed and eBay Collections, which launched on eBay in 2012 and 2013, respectively. eBay Feed and eBay Collections deliver a tailored shopping experience for millions of eBay users around the world, helping them to easily discover items that match their interests and curate collections from the 650 million items on eBay.

We encourage you to continue expressing your passions and interests by creating eBay Collections on eBay. Curate, browse, and shop with $5 off of a $10 or more purchase on eBay.”

As TechCrunch reported when the news first broke: “This is often what happens in the months and years after big tech companies acquire new and clever products — some key parts sometimes get integrated, and other beloved bits often get cut.”

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e-commerce Startups technology

Shopping tool Hukkster hits Time Inc’s top 10 NYC start-up list for 2013

Hukkster

Time Inc has revealed its third annual list of the 10 start-ups to watch in New York City, and… there’s a fashion name in there again.

Hukkster, as it’s called, follows in the footsteps of Fab.com and Warby Parker (in 2012 and 2011 respectively) – highlighted by the Time Inc group as one of the most promising companies to transform the shopping space.

In this instance, it’s a tool that notifies shoppers when the products they want go on sale. Hukkster tracks more than 1,000 popular online stores, allowing any user to add its bookmarklet to their browser and then hit “Hukk It” when there’s an item they want to keep tabs on.

Once the price drops you get an email, a text or push notifications. You can also opt to only find out when it goes down by at least 25% or at least 50%.

According to WSJ’s profile on the start-up in 2012, and its founders Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan, each time a user buys an item they’ve been watching, Hukkster collects a fee for lead generation, using a third-party service that has relationships with more than 18,000 retailers. Its top revenue drivers, back when the piece was written, were J.Crew, Amazon.com’s Shopbop and Macy’s.

Furthermore, in November 2012, the Winklevoss twins led a $750,000 investment in it.

Hukkster appears in Time Inc’s list this year alongside nine other start-ups from a variety of fields. Included in them are ArchetypeMe, Custora, FiftyThree, Fitocracy, Grouper, IMRSV, Klooff, Qwiki and Upworthy.