Jellyfish.com

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Jellyfish.com was a reverse auction online shopping site website. The Middleton, Wisconsin-based company was acquired by Microsoft in 2007. On May 22, 2008, Microsoft officially announced the cash back service as part of their Live Search group of tools. The site was shut down at midnight, February 16, 2009.

It is the first website exclusively using "cost per action" for shopping, and the first to give ad revenues to customers by means of rebates on purchases.[1][not in citation given][2][not in citation given][3][not in citation given][citation needed][dubious ]

History[edit]

Jellyfish launched the first beta version of service in June 2006, after receiving an initial seed round of investment from its founders, Brian Wiegand and Mark McGuire, and Kegonsa Capital Partners.[4]

In a press release, Kegonsa Capital Partners said that it acquired 25 percent of Jellyfish.com's stock for about $600,000 in February 2006, and made 15 times its seed investment with the deal.[5]

On October 2006, Jellyfish raised an additional 5 million dollars in funding. According to their founders, Jellyfish has 1,000 retailers advertising more than 5 million products, from shoes to electronics to home appliances. It was expected to have 20 employees by the end of October 2006, at the Old Sauk Trails business park, on the Far West Side.[4]

Kegonsa, a Fitchburg, Wisconsin group with 42 Wisconsin investors, led the second round of investment on October 2006,[6] with more than $1 million in October 2006 through the Kegonsa Co-Invest fund, for a total of $5 million.[7][8] The second round investors more than doubled their investment in less than a year.[5]

In an interview in July 2007, Wiegand said Jellyfish had sold nearly $5 million worth of products, "everything from bicycles to shoes".[6]

McGuire explained that the name Jellyfish was chosen because they wanted to be completely transparent.[9]

Microsoft Purchase[edit]

On October 2, 2007, Microsoft announced purchase of Jellyfish.[5][6][10][11] The estimated price for the buyout was said[who?] to be $50 million.[citation needed] The Jellyfish engine may be used as a part of Microsoft Live Search.[12][not in citation given] Microsoft sees Jellyfish.com as a way to augment its e-commerce and search offerings.[1][13]

When bought by Microsoft, it had 26 employees.[5]

After the sale[edit]

As of 2009, the founders have sold a total of three startup companies in 10 years, the last one being the selling of Jellyfish to Microsoft. They have now raised $4.3 million funding for another online retail service, Alice.com, which launched in March 2009.[14]

Live Search Cashback[edit]

Main article: Live Search Cashback

Live Search Cashback allow users to search for products from multiple vendors and find their prices. It offers money back for purchases made through the site. This service started in June 2006 [15] as part of Jellyfish.com and is integrated with Live Search in May 2008. Users now require to use Windows Live ID to sign into their Cashback accounts instead of the previous Jellyfish.com account. Microsoft plans on using this to catch up to Google in the search market.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b PCWorld, "Microsoft Buys Jellyfish.com Shopping Site", retrieved March 18, 2008
  2. ^ Wall Street Journal, "Web Start-Up to Share Revenue From Advertisers With Shoppers", retrieved March 18, 2008
  3. ^ Information Week: "Startup Primed To Challenge Google CPC Ad Model", retrieved March 18, 2008
  4. ^ a b Wisconsin State Journal, "Jellyfish.com Raises $5 Million In Funding", retrieved 13 March 2008
  5. ^ a b c d Wisconsin State Journal: "Jellyfish goes big time", retrieved 13 March 2008
  6. ^ a b c Wisconsin State Journal, "Microsoft Buys Online Shopper Jellyfish.com", retrieved 13 March 2008
  7. ^ American Ventures, "Jellyfish.com Secures $5 Million in Funding", retrieved 18 March 2008 Archived October 24, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Milwaukee Business Journal: "Madison Internet firm secures $5M in funding", retrieved 18 March 2008
  9. ^ SiliconValleyWatcher: "Jellyfish pioneers a new type of online business model", retrieved March 19, 2008
  10. ^ Official blog of Live Search team, "Microsoft acquires Jellyfish.com", retrieved 13 March 2008
  11. ^ ZDNet, "Microsoft buys Jellyfish comparison-shopping search engine", retrieved March 18, 2008
  12. ^ Live Search: "Microsoft acquires Jellyfish.com", retrieved 13 March 2008
  13. ^ Infoworld, "Microsoft sees its acquisition of Web site Jellyfish.com as a way to augment its e-commerce and search offerings", retrieved March 18, 2008
  14. ^ Robin Wauters (2008-11-11). "The Jellyfish Guys Are At It Again, Raise $4.3 Million For Online Retail Service Alice.com". TechCrunch. 
  15. ^ Washington Post, "BuzzWorthy: At This Auction Site, Prices (on Chickens, iPods, Etc.) Are Going, Going Down", retrieved 13 March 2008
  16. ^ BBC News, "Microsoft adds cashback search", retrieved 22 May 2008

External links[edit]