Hearst to Gain Leading Web Site Specializing in Social Shopping
New York, August 8, 2007, 7 a.m. ET—Hearst Corporation today announced that it will acquire Kaboodle, Inc., a leading social shopping community where consumers discover, recommend and share products. The announcement was made jointly by Kenneth A. Bronfin, president, Hearst Interactive Media; Cathleen P. Black, president, Hearst Magazines; and Manish Chandra, founder & CEO of Kaboodle. Kaboodle (www.kaboodle.com), which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hearst, will be managed by both Hearst Interactive Media and Hearst Magazines Digital Media unit. Terms were not disclosed.
With this acquisition, Hearst will gain one of the leading sites specializing in social shopping, a combination of online shopping and social networking. Kaboodle’s social shopping community is changing the landscape of online shopping by connecting people with similar taste, and tying together the entire shopping process, from product discovery to purchase. Kaboodle launched its public beta in 2006 and already has more than 2 million unique monthly visitors.
“Kaboodle is a rapidly growing business in a distinctive and fascinating space,” said Bronfin. “We are delighted to become a significant player in the social shopping space and believe that Kaboodle will bring to social shopping what MySpace has brought to social media. This acquisition will enable Kaboodle to further expand its content and service offerings while also significantly increasing its advertiser base. In two short years, Manish and his team have created a very attractive business.”
Black added: “With its impressive technology, tools and audience, Kaboodle is a natural overlap for Hearst Magazines. We think Kaboodle has terrific potential for many of our brands, especially in the fashion, beauty and consumer technology categories. Our readers will be able to find the products featured in our magazines, shop electronically with their friends and get their feedback. Itâ€™s another means for making sure our readers stay engaged in todayâ€™s saturated media landscape.”
“We are excited about joining forces with Hearst, where we will have access to premier content relevant to our community, and benefit from its deep media and advertising relationships. This partnership will provide Kaboodle the flexibility and resources necessary to continue building the premier social shopping platform,” said Manish Chandra, CEO and Founder of Kaboodle.
Kaboodle (www.kaboodle.com) is a social shopping community where people discover, recommend and share products. Kaboodle’s powerful shopping tools allow people to organize their shopping through lists, discover new things from people with similar style, get discounts on popular products, and find best prices. At the heart of Kaboodle is a fun and engaging community of people who love to shop. Community members create and join groups; share advice, feedback and product suggestions; and personalize their profiles with polls and other widgets. Kaboodle was founded in 2005 by Manish Chandra, Keiron McCammon and Chetan Pungaliya.
Hearst Corporation’s (www.hearst.com) major interests include 12 daily and 31 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, and Albany Times Union; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations through Hearst-Argyle Television (NYSE:HTV) which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, The History Channel and ESPN; as well as business publishing, including a joint venture interest in Fitch Ratings; Internet businesses, television production, newspaper features distribution and real estate.
Hearst Magazines (www.hearst.com/magazines/), a unit of Hearst Corporation, is one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, with nearly 200 international editions around the world, including 19 U.S. titles and 20 magazines in the United Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited. Hearst reaches more adults than any other publisher of monthly magazines (74.1 million total adults, according to MRI, spring 07).
Launched in March 2006, Hearst Magazines Digital Media is dedicated to creating and implementing the digital online and mobile strategy for Hearst’s magazine brands and other sites which serve the company’s consumers and audience.
Hearst Interactive Media (www.hearst.com/interactive_media/), a unit of Hearst Corporation, manages a portfolio of strategic investments in development-stage companies focused primarily on emerging media and interactive technologies. Investments have included iVillage, Netscape, XM Satellite Radio, Broadcast.com, Exodus, Sling Media and Brightcove. Since 1995, the division has invested in over 45 companies. Throughout the Corporation, Hearst Interactive Media provides strategic guidance and advocacy for a wide range of technology-driven operational and development activities.
Julie O’Grady, Kaboodle, Inc., 650-269-9989, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Luthringer, Hearst Corporation, 212-649-2540, email@example.com
Jessica Kleiman, Hearst Magazines, 212-649-2545, firstname.lastname@example.org