Social Shopping Startup ShopSquad Lands $1.25M In Funding From Heavy Hitters
Exclusive - Social commerce startup ShopSquad has closed $1.25 million in early-stage funding. The seed financing round was led by a consortium of individual investors with a wealth of online commerce expertise, including the members of the fledgling company’s advisory board: Josh Silverman (former CEO of Skype and Shopping.com), David Sacks (former COO of PayPal and current CEO of Yammer), Jeff Fluhr (founder and former CEO of StubHub), Selina Tocawala (founder of Evite.com) and Charles Carmel (VP Corporate Development at Cisco).
ShopSquad is a free service that connects shoppers with product advisors through live video chat and guided browsing sessions for product advice.
By searching for a product on ShopSquad, shoppers can select an advisor based on factors such as community ratings, product expertise, and language. Anyone with proven product knowledge can become an advisor on ShopSquad and earn commissions when shoppers buy suggested products on ‘hundreds of affiliated stores’.
ShopSquad makes money through these affiliate relationships – ecommerce partners include Amazon.com, Diapers.com, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Sears, Kmart, Office Depot, Hotels.com and plenty more.
The startup made its debut at the Launch conference last month. Its alpha product focused on the baby products market, but ShopSquad intends to expand to other verticals in the near future.
ShopSquad was founded by chief executive Charles Katz , who previously co-founded Connect Group (acquired by Lodgenet in 1998) and 1stUp.com (acquired by CMGI in 1999).