Sometimes you run into stories in the strangest places. On an elevator ride in Pioneer Square this morning, I bumped into Wishpot founder Max Ciccotosto who let me in on a little piece of news.
Ciccotosto’s six-year-old social commerce startup, which developed a service to make it easy to share gift lists with friends, has been acquired by Lockerz in a deal of undisclosed size. The Wishpot deal marks the latest acquisition for Lockerz, which was in the news last month when CEO Kathy Savitt made a surprise jump to Yahoo to become chief marketing officer.
But, despite that recent defection, Lockerz is still chugging along. And Wishpot appears to be the latest puzzle piece. This isn’t the first Seattle upstart that Lockerz — which has raised more than $70 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, Live Nation and others to date— has purchased. It also gobbled up Seattle travel deal site Off & Away last December, which was promptly shut down.
A portion of Wishpot’s staff, including Ciccotosto and CTO Tom Lianza, have already joined Lockerz. Wishpot had previously raised about $1.5 million from investors such as H-Farm Ventures, Curious Office Partners, Monster Venture Partners and select angels, with Ciccotosto saying the deal represented a good outcome and “the right opportunity at the right time.”
“We’ve been looking for how we take the next step, and take the company to the next level,” he said. “Lockerz has great leadership, very senior people, and an amazing board. And it is a good-sized company with a great customer base and a ton of traffic. There are a lot of things they add, which we felt was very complementary to what we’ve been doing. The direction that they are going is a lot of the stuff that we’ve been working on a for while.”
Ciccotosto said that the Wishpot team will continue to work on social commerce technologies at Lockerz, which is building a social networking service where teenagers and twenty-somethings earn points for sharing content or watching videos.
That’s a slightly different audience from Wishpot’s customer base, which skews a bit older (Typically the soon-to-be-married crowd). Over time, Ciccotosto said that the Wishpot service will be shut down, but for the near term he said they plan to support customers.