Wigix

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Wigix, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Online C2C and B2C Marketplace
Founded March, 2007
Headquarters Oakland, CA USA
Key people James Chong, CEO & Founder
Bob Lee, CTO & Founder
Albert Loh, CFO & Founder
Website http://www.wigix.com

Wigix, also known as Wigix.com, Wigix.cn, and Wigix, Inc., is an online consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace whose model mimics financial trading platforms. The company name is an acronym for "Want It Got It eXchange".[1] Along with Wigix.com, the company also owns China-based ddku.com as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Founding and early history[edit]

The company was founded in Oakland, California, on March 28, 2007, by James Chong, Bob Lee and Albert Loh.[2] Invitations to the private beta started on June 5, 2007. After six months in private testing, the service opened up to the public (still in beta) ten weeks later, on April 29, 2008. There was a general release on February 5, 2010.

From its inception, Wigix was designed as a marketplace to sell goods in the similar fashion that stocks are sold.[3] Each good/product has a single page, called an “Item Detail Page,” within the “catalog.”[4] On that page, sellers can list their own item as a “Sell Order.”[5] Buyers can view the open sell orders and agree to a price, or list a “Buy Order” at a lower price for sellers to view.

Community-driven online marketplace[edit]

This system rides on a structured catalog that is built by page submissions from its members and managed by specially appointed members, called "Category Experts". Members that submit pages own their submitted pages and become “Page Owners” (called 'homesteaders' at launch). Both Page Owners and Category Experts make the marketplace “community-driven” and are monetarily compensated for their work. The use-cases for the Wigix service are: to buy, to sell, to build a portfolio for asset tracking and evaluation and to contribute to the Wigix catalog for monetary compensation.

As a part of its community, social networking and Web 2.0 efforts, the service includes the ability to find and invite “friends”. This enables typical social website functions, including being notified on friends' activity, and read-access to friends’ portfolios, watchlists and gift registries. Other community-based features include the ability to post blogs participate in discussion threads.

Key features[edit]

"Keeping Fees at Bay": To be competitive, Wigix employs a low-fees strategy, advertising it in its tag line. During its beta period, listing Sell Orders or Buy Orders were free. There were also no charges for transactions that were $25 or less. Other fees were less than prices offered from its main competitor, eBay.[6] After beta, Wigix removed its transactional fees, making it free to sell on its marketplace.

Storefronts: On October 22, 2008, Wigix unveiled services for high-volume B2C sellers. Its service, called storefronts, offer a customized point of sale with inventory management, sales management and reporting tools. Each registered storefront owner receives a short URL and a web store. Store owners can manage this store inventory using shelving, smart shelving and sifting functions.

Tagged Products, Discussion Threads and Blogs: On January 9, 2009, Wigix introduced Tagging, a function to attach a keyword to any product. This provided a way to find related items and added a cloud-based structure to the catalog, secondary to the normal catalog browsing already implemented. On March 4, 2009, the company expanded the tagging function to include discussion thread and blog postings.

“Label Your Stuff”: On January 27, 2009, the website added photo tagging, which is the ability for members to label products in their uploaded photos. The company suggests using the feature for showcase, insurance and “total solution” selling reasons.

Themed Communities: On March 4, 2009, the company added Themed Communities, as sections of the website dedicated to a focused group of products for the sharing of stories, advice, interaction with other Wigix members, and as an avenue to contact like-minded shoppers.

The Wigix marketplace has also launched a photo-tagging feature that helps members easily identify products within their photos and display their portfolio of items in their Wigix photo albums and on their Facebook accounts.[7]

Key people[edit]

James Chong: a Founder, CEO, Chairman of the Board. Prior to Wigix, James was founder and CEO of Cyanea Systems, a venture-backed company that was sold to IBM. Prior to Cyanea, James was also CTO of PlanetRX, a public e-commerce company, and Vice President of Architecture and Planning at Charles Schwab, where he built Schwab’s 1st and 2nd generation web trading platforms.[8]

Bob Lee: a Founder and CTO. Prior to Wigix, Bob was Vice President of Product Management at Cyanea Systems. Bob was also Vice President of IT at Epoch Partners/Goldman Sachs and Vice President of IT at Charles Schwab.

Albert Loh: a Founder & VP Finance and Operations. Prior to Wigix, Loh was head of IBM’s Project Management Office. He has also been CFO for the Guangzhou Jianlibao Group’s Southeast Asian Region.

Tim Draper: Board Member. Draper is Founder & Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, known for advancing "viral marketing". He is also a member of the Board of Directors at The BizWorld Foundation, Singapore's Economic Advisory Council, Ukraine's Orange Circle, U.C. Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Glam, Tagworld, SocialText, Kyte.tv, Chrome Graphics, Meebo, and Increo.

Bill Burnham: Board Member. Burnham is Managing General Partner of Inductive Capital, that focuses on leveraging private-market insights to improve public-portfolio management. He was Managing Director at Mobius Venture Capital Inc., an early stage investment company and at Softbank Capital Partners, a late-stage investment company, and held management positions at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and Piper Jaffray.

Nick Donofrio: Board Member. Donofrio is a Fellow, and an Executive Vice President INT Alumnus of IBM. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Bank of New York Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Council for the United States and Italy, and the Genographic Project. He was Executive Vice President, IBM Corporation, responsible for a worldwide organization of 130,000 employees in research, global manufacturing & procurement, governmental programs, corporate community relations, as well as On-demand technologies.

Funding[edit]

Worldwide operations are funded by venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, based in Menlo Park, California. The firm has a previous reputation of funding successful technology companies, including Hotmail, Skype, and Meebo.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morrison, Chris (2008-04-29). "Wigix wants to kill eBay". Venturebeat. Venturebeat. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  2. ^ Schiffmamn, Betsy (2008-04-08). "The Anti-EBay Launches". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  3. ^ Ho, David (2008-05-05). Business. "Wigix looks to seize eBay's turf". The Oregonian (New York: Oregon Live LLC). Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  4. ^ Mangalindan, Mylene (2008-08-12). Business. "Ireked by eBay, Some Sellers Trade Elsewhere". The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.). Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  5. ^ Hendrickson, Mark (2008-04-29). "Wigix Brings Order to World of Online Trading". TC. AOL Inc. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  6. ^ Kessler, Michelle (2008-05-21). "Little Wigix takes on EBay". USA Today (USA Today). Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  7. ^ Steiner, Ina (2009-01-28). "eBay Alternatives: Bonanzle and Wigix Reach Milestones". Ecommerce Bytes - News Flash (Steiner Associates LLC) 28. ISSN 1539-5065. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  8. ^ Keegan, Victor (2008-05-01). News: Technology. "New kids take on the dotcom dinosaurs". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  9. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2008-04-29). News: News blogs. "Start-up hopes to outdo eBay with online market". cnet (CBS Interactive Inc.). Retrieved 2013-11-10. 

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