SOURCE: Bonanza

September 21, 2010 09:00 ET

Bonanzle Acquires 1000 Markets and Rebrands as Bonanza.com

Moves Expand Product Offerings and Align Bonanza's Brand With Rapidly Growing Base of Loyal Merchants and Shoppers Seeking "Everything but the Ordinary"

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - September 21, 2010) -  Bonanzle, the leader in community-driven social commerce, today announced that it has acquired 1000 Markets, one of the premier marketplaces for artisan merchandise.

Bonanzle also announced that it is changing its name to Bonanza and introducing a new design to make it even easier for shoppers to find "everything but the ordinary."

The combined company will be found online at www.bonanza.com and will further position Bonanza as an exceptional social commerce experience, said Bill Harding, chief executive officer of Bonanza.

"We think this is an amazing triple play. First, we're adding the tremendous stores and shoppers of 1000 Markets to our family. Second, we're bringing a dynamic new design to the site that makes it even easier to list and buy the kind of delightful and unique merchandise both companies have always been known for. And third, we're branding it with a household word that not only speaks to the bounty of opportunities to be found, but is also easier to remember and spell."

Bonanza is an online marketplace focused on unique items that is reflective of the real world shopping experience at a street fair. Working from virtual booths, merchants sell a wide variety of products ranging from old coins and antiques to handbags and candles. Its most popular categories are women's shoes and handbags, home and garden, jewelry, and collectibles. Numerous features, such as chat, custom coupons, and limited time sales, are baked into each merchant storefront.

1000 Markets complements Bonanza's existing stores with its specialty in handcrafted artisan goods, ranging from jewelry and art to home and garden items. Its outstanding sellers and inventory have garnered praise from luminaries such as Oprah, Real Simple, and Good Morning America.

Founded in 2008, Bonanza has quickly become one of the most popular social commerce sites on the Internet. At present, Bonanza has more than two million monthly visitors, 300,000 registered users and more than 3.4 million items for sale across its array of storefronts. Sales on Bonanza have increased by 150 percent over the past year, Harding said.

"This is an excellent match for our merchants and our growing audience of buyers," Harding said. "Both companies emphasize fun and easy shopping for unique products, and the merchants at 1000 Markets are known for the quality of their work and passionate commitment to customer service -- traits that we admire and support."

"We are delighted to join forces with Bonanza, one of the leaders in the field. This will bring our distinctive and passionate merchants the power of Bonanza's infrastructure and traffic," said Matthew Trifiro, chief executive officer of 1000 Markets. "We believe that this combination will create one of the strongest players in social commerce."

"Bonanza epitomizes the concept of social commerce. There are a few companies out there doing interesting things in the space, but social commerce should really be more than just putting Facebook and Twitter buttons on your product pages," Harding said. 

Both Bonanza and 1000 Markets are based in Seattle. Harding said that 1000 Markets' inventory of about 100,000 items will be blended into Bonanza's inventory over the next month. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Earlier this year, Bonanza raised $1 million in funding from a group of prominent investors, including Ignition Partners, Voyager Capital, Founder's Co-op and Curious Office Partners, all of Seattle, and Matrix Partners of Silicon Valley. The investment round also included prominent angel investors such as BuddyTV founder Andy Liu, Wetpaint founder Ben Elowitz and Ontela co-founder Dan Shapiro. 

1000 Markets raised $500,000 in funding last year from a similarly prominent group, including Founder's Fund and True Ventures.