After Raising $39 Million, Group Commerce Lets Go Most Of Its Staff And Merges With A Competitor

jonty kelt, social commerce

Two upstart ecommerce companies are merging.

Group Commerce and Nimble Commerce are going to join forces. The new company will stick with the NimbleCommerce name, and NimbleCommerce CEO Prashant Nedungadi will run the new company.

Group Commerce CEO Jonty Kelt will stay on as an advisor during the transition.

As a result of the merger, much of Group Commerce’s staff is going to be let go. Kelt tells us, “many positions are being eliminated due to overlap in capabilities between the two companies.”

This appears to be a soft landing of sorts for Group Commerce, which had a lot of buzz early on. It was founded by Kelt, with David Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt was the CEO of DoubleClick and sits on the board of Twitter.

Initially things were going well at Group Commerce, but somewhere along the lines the company lost its traction, and a former employee says it may have lost some of its focus.

Both companies were working on the same thing. Essentially, they want to give online publishers an ecommerce option to monetise their audiences.

“Advertising has not worked very well,” for publishers Nedungadi told us over the phone. A secondary revenue stream would be nice. NimbleCommerce is going to try to do just that. Nedungadi says NimbleCommerce is all about “transactions” or sales to customers. 

The new venture will be focused entirely on solving the problem of generating an alternative revenue stream for publishers. NimbleCommerce has the technology and marketplace. GroupCommerce brings more clients.

Nedungadi says the new company will be profitable (at least at first), and he expects revenue growth of 75% this year compared to 2012. He also said hundreds of millions of dollars will flow through their new platform, but Kelt suggested it will only get to keep ~5% of that revenue.

All totaled, the combined companies will have raised $47 million in venture funding. No financial details, or valuations were disclosed in the deal.

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