Facebook lures away Carsabi co-founders

Steven Loeb · October 2, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2a97

Carsabi now up for sale, no word on what role the founders will take on at Facebook

Facebook has hired Dwight Crow and Christopher Berner, the creators of used car price comparison website Carsabi, the two announced on the company blog.

Carsabi, which was created in October 2011 and graduated from Y Combinator in March, is not being bought by Facebook, so Crow and Berner are now attempting to sell the company.

“We want to take this impact to the next level – and help Facebook users connect and share. Because Facebook is not acquiring Carsabi.com, we're looking for someone to buy the Carsabi service, so the two of us can focus on our new jobs. We can’t thank all of you that have used Carsabi enough – developing Carsabi has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and we hope we helped you think differently about how to find the perfect used car!,” Crow and Berner wrote.

“We want to give special thanks to our partners, customers and investors for helping us fulfill our dream.”

Carsabi was created to make purchasing a used car easier by indexing every car available through sales listings, dealers and classifieds. It allowed users to sort by features and price, and also combined a social element so that users could ask their friends for advice on which car to buy.

It is unclear at this point what the Carsabi guys will be doing at Facebook, though its possible that their experience with social commerce might make them a good fit for Facebook Gifts.

Facebook announced last week that it is reviving its Gifts feature, but now, instead of sending your friends virtual things that they can’t actually do anything with, you can send real gifts. You know things you can actually touch and use.

The way it works is that a user decides to buy someone else a gift, so they will go that person’s timeline and click the Gift button at the top. They select a card, add a personal message and then send the gift. The recipient will be notified, and asked for their address. The gift can be paid for immediately, or the sender can choose to wait until the recipient enters their info.

The sender will never see the address of the person he or she is sending the gift to and the person receiving the gift won’t see the price. They can also change the size, color and style of the gift. 
Facebook is offering hundreds of gifts, including cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, a stuffed animal from Gund, a digital gift card from Starbucks, cookies, household goods, tshirts and posters.

Of course, what the Carsabi guys will be doing for Facebook is only speculation at this point. Vator contacted Facebook and Carsabi to get more details about the role Crow and Berner will be playing at the company, and we will update as soon as we hear more.

Facebook’s other acqui-hires

This is not the first time Facebook has raided a company for its talent this year.

Facebook made an acqui-hire when it purchased mobile social discovery app Glancee for an undisclosed amount in May.

Glancee works on top of Facebook, so in order to use Glancee, you have to sign on using Facebook Connect.  

By signing into Facebook Connect, Glancee takes your "likes" and compares them to other people's "likes" to find matches and similarities. People with similar interests are then shown to one another, depending on location.

Then, in August, Facebook acquired Threadsy, the operator of social marketing tool Swaylo, for its talent. Swaylo is a service for people to find out their audience and reach on social media.

Facebook has acquired around 40 founders through acquisitions and of those, only a few have left.

Brett Taylor, co-founder of FriendFeed, which was purchased by Facebook in August 2009 for $50 million. Taylor left in June to start his own company with Facebook engineer Kevin Gibbs.

Paul Buchheit, co-founder of FriendFeed, who left to become a venture capitalist at Y Combinator.

Carl Sjogreen, founder of travel recommendation website Nextstop, left in July. His company was purchased by Facebook in July 2011 for an undisclosed amount.

Sam Odio left in June 2011, a little over a year after his company, Divvyshot, was purchased by Facebook in April 2010.

(Image source: https://www.smartcarsforsale.org)

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