Rearden Commerce, Not Everyone’s Favorite Startup


Like everyone else in Silicon Valley (and lots of other places), I read the popular blog TechCrunch. I also scan the comments, which are often insightful.

One of the toughest comments I’ve read just appeared on the site about an hour ago in response to Michael Arrington’s bullish write-up of 10-year-old Rearden Commerce, a company that has raised a stunning $200 million from venture investors like Oak Investment Partners, Foundation Capital, and Palo Alto Investors. Rearden’s mission? To create customized websites for corporate customers’ employees. The San Francisco-based company, which Arrington calls one of his “favorites,” helps cell phone users coordinate restaurant and hotel reservations. Rearden also keeps tabs on reward miles and provides other helpful services, like syncing up an employee’s calendar with his or her mobile device.

I don’t know a lot about the company, though it sounds somewhat similar to Visto, another startup that has raised over $200 million from investors like Oak to create middleware for corporate cell phone users. One also wonders whether Rearden’s services are a “must-have” for companies that are trying to cope with one of the worst economic downturns in this country’s history.

Still, someone who is clearly an insider at the company has a much more biting view of Rearden, and he uses TechCrunch’s comments board to blast Rearden for a slew of offenses ranging from corporate malfeasance to plain outright lies.

No doubt that after his comments, the company is wishing Arrington hadn’t written about the company in the first place.

Editor’s Note: We’ve decided to pull the actual comment, because we have been unable to substantiate its allegations or identify its original author. This might not matter were the comment simply made on a peHUB post, but does matter when editorialized on within the post itself (trust us, there is a difference). Apologies for the back-and-forth. The fact that the comment was made, and that it strongly dissented from TechCrunch’s positive view of Rearden Commerce, stands unchallenged.