Series A financing, China web site and Patent filing

This is the text of a press release we are issuing today (Tuesday 24th October 2006)

Menlo Park, California: October 24th 2006

edgeio corporation announces Series A financing, Chinese web site and Patent filing.

edgeio corporation, a leader in online listings announced today that it has raised $5 million in the first close of a Series A round of financing. The round was led by Intel Capital and also included an investment from Transcosmos Investments and Business Development Inc, a Japanese public company with a Silicon Valley investment arm focused on Internet-based U.S. technology companies expanding into the Japanese marketplace. Investors in the company’s angel funding had their investment converted into A round stock. These include Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, Claudio Chiuchiarelli, Frank Caufield Jr., RSS Investors, Millenium Technology Ventures, Michael Tanne, Auren Hoffman, Sam Perry, Bill McCabe and Louis Monier.

Since its launch in March 2006 edgeio has successfully become a significant player in the rapidly growing infrastructure for online listings. It has become an essential service to many vendors, across many verticals in many countries, who use it as a part of their strategy for distributing listings and catalogs to attract more customers.

edgeio has over 3000 publishers who upload their listings via its edgedirect service. These include key players in the jobs, autos, real estate, leisure and other sectors. Many bloggers are publishing listings to their blog and having them automatically entered into edgeio through the use of the “listing tag�?. edgeio is also a featured distribution channel for many sites offering to help distribute listings, such as VFlyer, Postlets, the Point2 network and others. Beyond distributing uploaded listings, edgeio brings together content in real time from partners such as eBay, Amazon and CafePress, creating the world’s largest search engine for listings at edgeio.com.

“Our goal is to bring together all of the world’s marketplaces, to organize them vertically and geographically, and then to make this enormous inventory of catalogs available, through a single interface, to those who would like to take these listings and create new online marketplaces,”

said Keith Teare, Chief Executive Officer and founder at edgeio.

Since launching six months ago edgeio now has more than 100 million listings in many verticals, (about 700,000 new each day). These come from over 14,000 cities in 130 countries. By being an aggregator of such a large number of listings edgeio.com can become a serious search engine for jobs, homes, cars and many other items, and can send significant amounts of traffic back to the original publisher.

The company also announced today that it has launched a Chinese language version of its web site named mulu100.com (which in Chinese means catalog of catalogs). The Chinese service has initially formed a partnership with edeng.cn, a China based listings site, similar in many ways to craigslist.com.

“Chinese listings began to appear on edgeio within a few days of us launching. And we saw Chinese searches on our data grow significantly during the summer,”

said Keith Teare.

“We decided that the Chinese market would be our first localized site and we now have a significant number of listings from all over the country. That is why we have launched mulu100.com as a fully Chinese front end to the edgeio data. edeng has significantly expanded our ability to include China based listings and proven to be a great initial partner.”

edgeio corporation also announced that it has filed for patents covering its distributed marketplaces architecture and many of the features of edgeio.com. The patent claims were provisionally filed in October 2005 and have now been completed as full filings.

About edgeio corporation:

edgeio is a a leader in online listings. Its vision is to bring together, organize and distribute the world’s marketplaces. Products include edgedirect, edgeio.com and mulu100.com. edgeio is based in Menlo Park, California and was founded in 2005 by Keith Teare, its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, and Michael Arrington, a member of its board of directors. For more information see http://www.edgeio.com.

About Intel Capital:

Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet and semiconductor manufacturing. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$6 billion in nearly 1,000 companies in more than 40 countries. In that time, about 180 portfolio companies have been acquired by other companies and another 155 have gone public on various exchanges around the world. In 2005, Intel Capital invested about US$265 million in about 140 deals with approximately 60 percent of funds invested outside the United States. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com.

About Transcosmos Investments & Business Development, Inc.

Transcosmos Investments & Business Development, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transcosmos, Inc. With offices in Bellevue, Wash., and Mountain View, Calif., Transcosmos Investments & Business Development is a strategic corporate investor and an active local business partner for Internet-based U.S. technology companies expanding into the Japanese marketplace. It is the international partner-of-choice, offering capitalization of joint ventures, infrastructure development, strategic relationships, staffing and localization to companies in the U.S. technology sector – effectively creating a pipeline of technological information to Japan. Transcosmos Investments’ portfolios, which focus on companies specializing in digital marketing, e-commerce and digital media, include such marquee brand names as AskJeeves, Inc./Bloglines, DoubleClick Inc., RealNetworks Inc., NetRatings Inc., Atom Shockwave, Inc., Become Inc. and CinemaNow, Inc. For more information, please visit: http://www.transcosmos.com.

Google to favor GBase in organic search?

Infoworld is reporting Google’s plans with Googlebase. Their source is a Bear Stearns research report.

Google Inc. plans to extend the product search capabilities on its main Google.com Web search engine in the fourth quarter, in time for the holiday shopping season.

A Google official shared the news with attendees of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PESA) Summit in San Francisco this week, according to people at the conference.

When people search for products on Google.com, the system will present them with another search box so that they can refine their query, wrote Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. analysts in a note published Friday.

After people refine their query, Google takes them to a second page populated with product results from the Google Base listings service, wrote the analysts, who attended Google official’s presentation.

“Ranking will be determined by the attributes that the sellers listed for the product as well as by relevancy,” the analysts wrote.

This decision (if true) is good for edgeio customers and partners. We currently automate the inclusion of all of our publishers listings into Googlebase. The more visibility they get in search the better.

And due to the complexities of the GBase APIs and interface it is far easier to publish on edgeio and get into GBase than going direct.

Additionally GBase doesn’t plan to help publishers distribute beyond Google (our core goal). See this story for more.

From the beginning, Google said that Base isn’t meant as a destination Web site, but more like a database to feed information to Google search sites, like Google.com. To stress this point, Google recently removed the search box from the Google Base site.

All in all we are pleased. Our publishers can use us to get into Googlebase easily; and we can be their primary means of being distributed more widely than Googlebase.

However, with our non-partisan hat on, this decision (again, if it turns out to be true) does indicate the difficult “church versus state” issues that Google has. Why would Google (“organizing the worlds informnation”) artificially favor its own listings database over the original items out there on the internet and presumably already in its index? The only answer can be based on financial self-interest. The other wins – structured data in particular – could be achieved by supporting standards based structured data (like microformats for example).

I wonder how Larry and Sergey feel about internal attempts to undermine the neutrality of the Google alogorithm by artificially favoring Google hosted content in organic search?

Links to discussion
Traffick
AuctionBytes
Infoworld

Craig talks edgeio

I was listening to Craig Newmark on Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz’s “For Immediate Release” earlier in the week and was pleased to hear Neville ask Craig about edgeio. Here is Craig’s response: MP3

After listening I decided to record my response to Craig’s response – here it is : MP3

I sent this to Neville so maybe he will include it in his show.

Let us know what your opinions are.

There is a lot happening here at edgeio, I will post news soon.

Open data and web 2.0

Bob Wyman has a post in repsonse to an earlier Techdirt comment at Rob Hof’s blog regarding the key differences between edgeio and Craigslist. I have to say Bob, great post, I strongly agree. Although I still want to make clear – CraigsList is not our enemy or our target. But we do want to be a catalyst for open data, published for free, and shared for free. Thanks for the post.

edgeio announces support for YouTube, Google Video, Skype and PayPal!

We are announcing support for YouTube, Google Video, Skype and PayPal on edgeio. I have been having great fun playing with my new Sanyo Xacti HD-1 camera. The screen shot below shows an edgeio posting that contains a YouTube video (Google Video works also).

YouTube and edgeio with Skype and PayPal

The real listing is here.

As of today you can come and do this yourself on edgeio. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Make a movie of the item you are selling, or want.
2. Upload it to YouTube or Google Video.
3. Click on “Create Listing” on www.edgeio.com.
4. Past in the code for your YouTube or Google Video.
5. Add code snippets for PayPal or Skype or both.
6. Publish your edgeio listing.

Cool stuff if I say so myself :-).

We will build in more explicit support to pick videos from your YouTube uploads and to pick Skype or PayPal buttons in future versions of edgeio.

Have fun, can’t wait to see the results.

New edgeio features to be launched tonight

Later tonight we will be releasing a new version of the edgeio web site. It has a number of new features that we are really excited about. The new site should go live sometime after midnight Pacific time.

1. The ability to post an item for sale directly onto the edgeio web site. No blog needed. When you do this for the first time you will be asked to choose a login and password. On subsequent visits you will be able to post instantly. This is in effect giving you a listings blog hosted by edgeio. In the future we want to consistently add features to this blog platform. Some we already know about (the ability to skin your blog for example). Others we want to hear from you about. feedback@edgeio.com is the place to send product feature requests.

2. The ability to add posts from your blog to edgeio without tagging your posts in advance. To accomplish this simply put your URL in edgeio’s home page and click “get listings”. We will retrieve all recent posts from your blog and you can select which ones to add to edgeio.

3. Tagclouds for cities and for items. Click on the number of cities on the edgeio home page to see the most popular cities on edgeio. After 2 weeks we have around 1200 cities with listings. This grows by about 300 cities a week. We expect to be at 10,000 cities this year. To see category clouds just click on the “more” at the end of each category list on the home page.

4. Advice for power users about how to automate edgeio listings via their RSS feed. We decribe the “edgeio control language” or ECL. This is a means of using tags to tell edgeio a lot about your listing and helps ensure it is listed in the correct cities, and for the correct categories. Over time ECL will evolve into a rich control language for power listers. This is a link from the top of the new edgeio home page.
Rob Hof has written a piece on the new features. We will add more links here as they are published.

Other links:

Read/Write Web

SomeWhat Frank

Mashable

First listings from China

First Chinese Listing on edgeio

The first edgeio listing from China was posted today.

Here is a link to it:

First edgeio listing from China

Original Post

Pretty soon there were several more:


Anima Causa “适形椅”

This is really exciting for us. edgeio was built to provide for bottoms up publishing from every town and city on the earth. To have achieved 12,000 listings in 10 days, and to have listings from 1600 cities feels great. To see Chinese listings is awesome.

I also posted a fuller look at “instant listings” on my personal blog.

edgeio product plans discussed

edgeio has a number of product releases due to happen over the next 2 weeks or so. As we discussed in a couple of places, edgeio was launched with a set of features specifically designed for bloggers who are familiar with tagging, and with ping servers. Some have said (correctly) that this is too narrow an audience for a listings network. We think that the amount of discussion about edgeio has justified our early focus on this audience, but we are almost ready to roll out features for bloggers who are less familiar with the technology, and also for non-bloggers. CrunchNotes points to a podcast where Brian Oberkirck interviews Mike Arrington and they discuss some of these plans. They also discuss spam control. The podcast is here.

Developers and edgeio

A nice thing to see on day one. Developers figuring out cool things to do with edgeio. I spotted this post:

Use ZapTXT with Edgeio
The much anticipated Edgeio launched today. It’s an interesting service that allows anyone to publish content through their site.

The site constantly monitors RSS enabled sites and publishes posts with the “listing” tag. The posts are then organized by tags using the Edgeio taxonomy. The idea for sellers is that they can reach a broader audience without any additional effort. For buyers, the draw is that they can find items for sale regardless of geographic location and without checking multiple sites. According to Edgeio, they currently monitor 28,954,323 websites.

Sound interesting? I think it’s a great idea, but again, I don’t want to have to sift through any more data. This is where ZapTXT comes in. You can enter RSS for any Edgeio category and your keywords and get notified whenever there is a new post. And, of course, with ZapTXT Mobile Widget you’ll have access to your Edgeio alerts from your mobile phone. If Edgeio turns out to be as powerful as the hype says it’s going to be, ZapTXT is the perfect companion to harness all that data.

posted by eduard at 8:53 AM

You can go there directly to download it. It’s here!

I also noticed Jerome’s Keywords can be made to work with edgeio.

As far as developers are concerned there is a ton of information in the edgeio FAQ. A lot of publishers have asked about submitting feeds with geography information in the posts, or with time sensitive information like expiry time. It’s all here.

Finally, some people have asked about using PayPal on edgeio listings. It’s really as easy as including a PayPal “buy now” button on your blog post. When edgeio indexes your post we will include the button in edgeio. Hopefully Google Payments will be able to work in the future also.