Fresh on the heels of buying UGO Networks last month, Hearst Interactive Media has announced plans to buy Valley social-shopping search engine Kaboodle. Whispers put the price at around $30-$40 million. From the Journal:
With more than two million U.S. unique monthly visitors, Kaboodle.com, Santa Clara, Calif., allows shoppers to vouch for products they find on other shopping Web sites by “tagging” them with relevant key words that make them easier for others to find. The site’s 250,000 registered users can also rate and review the products they save, which range from kitchen knives to stiletto heels.
Hearst says it is likely to build pages on Kaboodle featuring products from many of its 19 U.S. magazine titles, such as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, aiming to generate buzz around the magazines by allowing shoppers to sound off about the products they feature online. It wants to develop Kaboodle into a larger independent lifestyle site by linking it with deep-pocketed advertisers and more editorial content.
Kaboodle already has a big deal with Hearst rival Conde Nast’s Concierge.com. No word on whether either party will yank out the plug. Hearst has one of the largest digital-media investment portfolios in the traditional media world. More details, plus thoughts on big-media-for-web-2.0, at GigaOm.
Kenneth Bronfin, Hearst Interactive