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Zaarly Closes $14.1M Series A

2011-10-25
Meg Whitman joins the Zaarly Board upon closing of funding round, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers' iFund and Sands Capital Ventures, with significant support from CMEA, Venture51, Crunchfund, Marc Ecko, and Artists and Instigators.
HP CEO and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has joined the board of directors of Zaarly ( http://www.zaarly.com ), a mobile commerce start-up. Whitman joined eBay when it had just 30 employees and helped the company grow into an $8 billion online marketplace powerhouse.

"Just as consumers once left off-line marketplaces to join online marketplaces such as eBay, Craigslist and Amazon, they're now migrating to mobile marketplaces, like Zaarly," explained Meg Whitman. "Mobile, local marketplaces will shift how people buy and sell goods, services, and experiences. This is the next generation of eCommerce."

Zaarly offers consumers a fast and safe way to buy and sell with people in their neighborhoods through a mobile, local marketplace. Using Zaarly's mobile apps or website, buyers post what they want, when they need it, and what they're willing to pay. Then, buyers are notified when sellers respond to fulfill their requests. Sellers earn extra income by providing products and services to people in their area.

"No one understands the process of creating and growing marketplaces better than Meg Whitman and we're thrilled to have her on the team," said Zaarly CEO and co-founder Bo Fishback. "As we expand our local marketplaces across the globe, we're fortunate to have Meg share with us her in-depth understanding of eCommerce and wisdom around company-building."

Whitman joins the Zaarly Board just as the company announced that it closed a $14.1 million Series A funding round, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' iFund and Sands Capital Ventures, with significant support from CMEA, Venture51, Crunchfund, Marc Ecko, and Artists and Instigators. Additionally, John Suliman of SCV and Chi-Hua Chien of KPCB have joined the board in conjunction with the Series A funding.

"Ubiquitous mobile computing is redefining the world of local commerce," said Chi-Hua Chien, Partner at KPCB. "The activity on Zaarly represents net new economic activity and job creation in communities across America, accelerating the process of buying and selling through a real-time mobile marketplace."

In the six months since Zaarly's launch, more than $6.75 million in requests have been posted on the service. New York, San Francisco and Kansas City each topped half-a-million dollars in listings, while other cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, Washington DC and Seattle, are also extremely active. Since launch, the Zaarly community has grown by more than 500% nationwide.

How are people using Zaarly?

- Home improvements. Zaarly connects busy homeowners to service
providers, such as house cleaners, handymen, movers, plumbers,
decorators and contractors.
- Event planning. Zaarly helps people planning an event - from weddings
and birthday parties to vacations or dinner parties - connect with
caterers, event planners, venues and entertainment.
- Hiring contract workers. Zaarly connects small businesses with
short-term freelancers, graphic designers, developers, personal
assistants, or lawyers.
- Discovering the hard-to-find. Zaarly is becoming a go-to resource for
people seeking electronics, furniture, housing, concerts and sporting
event tickets, and even cars.

"We believe that local, mobile commerce is the new way to buy and sell. But for mobile commerce to reach its full potential, trust and safety have to be built into the experience," explained Fishback.

That's why Zaarly built safeguards into its platform. For example, Zaarly offers anonymous transactions; however, users are required to sign-up with personal, verifiable information, such as a phone number or Facebook login. The site is monitored - by an algorithm as well as Zaarly monitors - and inappropriate listings are removed. Plus, with a payment provider integrated into the system, Zaarly can hold funds in escrow and refund buyers if transactions go awry.

Download the Zaarly app from the iPhone App Store or Android Marketplace, or post and respond to listings through the website and a mobile-optimized site. For more information, visit www.zaarly.com .

About Zaarly Zaarly is the new way to buy and sell with people nearby. Buyers post what they want and what they're willing to pay via any mobile device or the web. Sellers respond and can communicate directly with buyers. Zaarly offers anything buyers are looking for, including products, services/tasks and experiences. Based in San Francisco, CA, Zaarly is backed by investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sands Capital Ventures, Ashton Kutcher, Felicis Ventures, Bill Lee, Naval Ravikant, Lightbank, SV Angel, Paul Buchheit, Thrive Capital, Marc Ecko and Michael Arrington. Zaarly is currently available on the web, mobile web, Android and iPhone application. Visit www.zaarly.com for more information.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Twitter, and Zynga. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm's portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.

About Sands Capital Ventures Sands Capital Ventures supports passionate entrepreneurs developing innovative technologies that will transform humanity. Sands Capital Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sands Capital Management and is based in Arlington, VA.
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