Ben Smith: Building Startups Is Cheap But Never Run Out of Cash

Internet startups have been getting cheaper to build for 10 years. So why is it more important than ever not to run out of cash? We built MerchantCircle into one of the 100 most trafficked U.S. sites and I honestly never remember signing a purchase order for more than $10,000. But that doesn’t mean we […]

Gilt Confirms Buy of BuyWithMe But CEO Crowley’s Status Unclear

Today, Gilt Groupe made it official.

New York-based Gilt said it has acquired BuyWithMe. Financial terms of the deal, which closed yesterday, weren’t announced.

Boston-based BuyWithMe offers daily deals to a customer base of millions in 13 markets around the country, according to a statement. BuyWithMe is being integrated into Gilt City, which offers “local experiences,” a spokeswoman says.

BuyWithMe Said to Have Found a Buyer

BuyWithMe is being sold to Gilt Groupe, according to a report from Beta Beat.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The daily deals site will officially become part of Gilt, an online seller of designer fashion, on Nov. 1, the story says.

The sale comes after BuyWithMe reportedly laid off half of its staff earlier this month. BuyWithMe has secured about $30 million in funding, Beta Beat says. This includes $5.5 million in funding from Matrix Partners in January 2010. BuyWithMe, the following July, scored another $16 million in a round led by Bain Capital Ventures.

ScoopSt Bought by BuyWithMe

BuyWithMe, the Boston-based daily deals site, acquired ScoopSt, the New York-based daily deals site. Specifics of the transaction were not publicized. Lately, BuyWithMe has grown via M&A, including deals to acquire Groop Swoop, DealADayOnline and LocalTwist. BuyWithMe is backed by VCs Bain Capital Ventures and Matrix Partners.

Scoop: BuyWithMe to Seek VC Bucks Amid M&A Spree

Daily deals website BuyWithMe.com will conduct a new round of fundraising in the next few months, according to a senior source.

BuyWithMe has big competitors, clearly: Groupon raised $950 million earlier this year after spurning a Google offer and is expected to raise about $750 million more through its IPO; LivingSocial took in nearly $600 million across two rounds of fundraising in six months’ time. Gilt Groupe sought and secured nearly $140 million en route to a $1 billion valuation. And some of BuyWithMe’s well-capitalized competitors are dispensing money to build scale and quickly develop a merchant roster….

Groupon Sale Could Inspire More Clones

When Todd Rideman first heard about Groupon, he figured he could do it, too. After all, what’s so hard about putting up a Website, offering a few deals each day from local merchants — like $20 worth of cupcakes for $10 — and then watching the cash roll in?

So Rideman poured $100,000 of his hard-earned money into his own daily deal site and, at the beginning of the year, launched WowWhatSavings, targeting the Boston area. He quickly learned, however, that building a profitable Groupon clone isn’t as easy it looks.

“I was able to get the local merchants, but getting people to come to the site was costing a fortune,” said Rideman. After six months, he had just a few thousand people on his distribution list. He has since morphed his business into a deal site for restaurants only, and has seen sales perk up.

WowWhatSavings, based in Waltham, Mass., is one of more than 130 Websites that offer daily deals like Groupon, according to Yipit, which aggregates the deals. Now, with the New York Times reporting that Google is negotiating to buy Groupon for up to $6 billion, the space is likely to grow even more crowded.

BuyWithMe Raises $16 Million

BuyWithMe.com, a New York-based developer of marketing solutions using group buying mechanisms and leveraging social media, has raised $16 million in new VC funding. Existing shareholder Matrix Partners is the only listed investor. The company previously raised over $5.5 million. www.buywithme.com

BuyWithMe Raises $5.5 Million

BuyWithMe.com, a Boston-based developer of marketing solutions using group buying mechanisms and leveraging social media, has raised $5.5 million in VC funding from Matrix Partners. Matrix partner Nicholas Beim will joined the BuyWithMe board of directors.

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