16340 racks up one million users

Site lets users "rank anything in the universe" with simple drag-and-drop platform

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
November 1, 2010
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[Correction made at 8pm on November 1 regarding the exit of eCrush.], a website that lets users make lists of anything, announced Monday that it attracted over 1 million unique monthly visitors in October, a first for the site.

The Hollywood-based ranking site launched in closed beta in August 2009, before going public just a few months later.

On Ranker, users can make lists of anything. To illustrate this, here are some of the site’s top-rated lists: The 14 Most Brutal College Hazing Rituals, The 16 Most Shameful Politician’s Daughters, and Top 10 Anti-Gay Activists Caught Being Gay. Even the company’s About section and founder’s profile are only available in the site’s list form.

Some of these lists are just built for virality.

List-making on the site works by dragging and dropping more than six million items, each of which comes automatically packaged with multimedia or extra metadata to enhance the lists.

Clark Benson, the site’s founder and CEO, himself invested $1 million into the company to get things started in 2008. Then, in February of this year, the company raised a second seed round of $750,000 from fifteen angel investors, including Tech Coast Angels and Siemer Ventures.

Benson is responsible for creating four other companies: the ISIS Listening Station in 1995 and Almight Music Marketing in 1999 (music sales and marketing), Off/Beat Music in 1996 (CD store in southern California), and eCrush in 1999 (a social networking and matchmaking service). In 2007, when eCrush was making close to $4 million in yearly revenue, Benson sold the site to a division of media company Hearst Corp., Hearst Magazines Digital Media, the online unit of Hearst Magazines.

One of Benson’s lessons learned from his work with pet project Off/Beat Music: “Don't start businesses for non-monetary reasons until you can really afford to be hands-off.” Read about his entrepreneurial adventures over at Ranker.

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Description: Ranker is a consumer web platform and interest graph play based on the easily understood and highly engaging concept of rankings and vo...