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We’ve written about party planning tool MyPunchbowl several times before including their relaunch last November. I had a chance to speak with Matt about two announcements the company is making today. The announcements are: a new partnership with 1-800-Flowers on a new site called Celebrations and "Share on Facebook" functionality. Check out the details on both on the Mypunchbowl blog.
MyPunchbowl is creating an end-to-end party planning tool rather than just an invite service such as eVite. He went on to say that their tool "helps the host look good". They are working on finishing the complete loop for party planning. It’d be great to have a service that can not only help you schedule the party but make sure everything you need is ready including location advice and rentals where needed.
Competitors to MyPunchbowl include Socializr and Renkoo (our Renkoo coverage). Matt notes that MyPunchbowl is much larger than both competitors using analytics charts from Compete (Compete is down so I can’t embed a chart unfortunately).
The team is located in Boston and has 4 full-time employees and 5 contractors. All development is done inhouse.
What service do you use for event planning? My sister uses evite for everything, I haven’t had many events to plan.
After Kristen posted today on a suggested mashup, I thought it would be interesting to look at 5 great acquisition targets for 1st quarter 2007. I do not have financials for any of these companies, so I am working from a base of technology and visability. For each company I list, I have also listed a possible buyer along with my commentary on why the purchase makes sense. Do you agree or disagree?
Acquisition target 1: Renkoo
Possible buyer(s): Evite, Yahoo or Meetup
Why: Evite is still stuck in Web 1.0. Upcoming.org (owned by Yahoo) is pretty strong for tech, but lacks the mainstream audience. Meetup is awesome for group meetup planning and organization but is missing the 1-1 connection ability. Renkoo's technology to help when you know who but not where or when could really benefit all three of these organizations.
Acquisition target 2: CrazyEgg
Possible buyer(s): Any large web shop. Ogilvy, BBDO, etc.
Why: I think of this more as a defensive play than anything else. CrazyEgg is tops when it comes to web site testing and every agency should be using their service when testing new client web sites. USAToday for example should have used the CrazyEgg service with the relaunch this past weekend. So why do I say this is a defensive purchase? Because, while there are other players in this market, CrazyEgg is leaps and bounds ahead and gobbling up this offering will keep other agencies from utilizing it and it could be a good point of differentiation from other agencies.
Acquisition target 3: ConceptShare
Possible buyer(s): Any large web shop. Ogilvy, BBDO, etc.
Why: Same reasoning as with CrazyEgg. I am willing to bet that a buyout of ConceptShare would be a rounding error for the large agencies but again would keep the competitors away from the service. This tool speeds up production and any agency would be more productive by using ConceptShare.
Acquisition target 4: Viddler
Possible buyer(s): YouTube (Google), Metacafe, Any current television network
Why: Viddler has some really innovative technology with regard to video. They continue to improve the service as well and frankly, I enjoy using their service more than any other current video service. Yeap, YouTube is the big one, but that does not mean they are the best. Viddler has better sized video windows, a better picture quality, time based tagging/commenting and a more seamless friends section. YouTube needs this, Metacafe needs this and even more importantly, the television networks that are attempting to enter this space need this. Imagine being able to tag precise times on a 24 or Lost episode?
Acquisition target 5: MyDesignIn
Possibly buyer(s): Home Depot, Lowe's
Why: Kristen wrote about MyDesignIn this morning. Back in a former life, I negotiated a deal to get this type of technology for a consumer site I was working on. The technology was not as good as what MyDesignIn offers and this is now a pretty robust tool. I could easily see a Home Depot or Lowe's purchasing this type of app for three reasons. First, it keeps the competitor away. Second, it allows for a strong branding experience along with a long user session for additional branding and advertising options. So you design your kitchen, print it out and a coupon for 10% off shows up on the bottom for use at the purchaser. Lastly, it will allow Home Depot or Lowe's to start to embrace socialness when it comes to the Web. They will gain a first mover advantage.
Renkoo (review, interview) added profiles to their social networking site today. Instead of a boring, same old profile, this profile actually builds over time by having your friends answer questions about you.
From their blog entry, "We’re all about depth of friendship, not just breadth of friendship. With that in mind, we created Renkoo Profiles, which every week let you answer a new question, and offers your friends the opportunity to answer a new question about you."
Check out Renkoo founder Adam Rifkin's profile. Based on the replies to his superhero question, I will not be calling on him the next time I get into a jam with Lex Luthor! Pete has more about Renkoo's competitors over at Mashable.
I completed a video review of Renkoo last week. It is a tool that helps you to plan meetups where you don’t already know where or when. It is a bit different than eVite and really has a great interface and it is very Web 2.0/Ajax in its development. I gave Renkoo’s CEO, Adam Rifkin, a call to discuss the background of the app, how they monetize the app and where the app is going. I also picked his brain about other business topics around Renkoo. Have a listen using the player below.
Highlights of our discussion include:
- Can you provide a brief background about yourself?
- Where did the idea for Renkoo come from and how does the service work?
- Can you share some information about your users?
- What’s the team and environment like at Renkoo?
- How do you monetize Renkoo?
- Can you share some information about your funding?
- It looks like you have been in a beeta period for about 9 months – any plan to go live? How has the beta period been so far?
- Why the polar bear? Isn’t he warm this winter with the record temps so far?
- Who are your competitors?
- How do you compare Renkoo to eVite or Skobee?
- What’s next for Renkoo?
- What has been the biggest mistake you have made since starting Renkoo?
- Confirming my predictions for 2007 about people using the Internet less and getting out more.
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One of my predictions for 2007 is that people will decrease their overall online time by 10%. Renkoo is a tool that helps you plan events with your friends and family. Similar to evite, just much simpler, classier, and the design and usability is a step up from evite. I like Renkoo and think this app is on to bright future. I like the fact that you can send the invites to your friends via email, sms, or instant message. And that it let's you know when one of the invites didn't make it to your friend.
Check out my video review below.