Although it kind of got lost in all the hoopla about Google launching a customized search tool, Edgeio got financed to the tune of $5-million on Tuesday, in a round led by Intel Capital. Edgeio is the Web 2.0 classified service that Mike Arrington of TechCrunch co-founded along with Keith Teare, and remains a shareholder and board member of, as he mentions here.
At the time Edgeio launched to much acclaim, it was thought by many — including yours truly that it could become a kind of eBay-killer or a successor to Craigslist, because it allowed any blogger or person with a webpage to place an ad on their page and have it appear in the Edgeio index. But there seems to have been an evolution of sorts in Edgeio’s business model, or maybe something closer to a 180-degree turn.
According to Pete Cashmore at Mashable, Edgeio is now integrating listings from eBay and Amazon, among other sites. In other words, rather than an eBay-killer, it has become an eBay partner. Pete says “this always seemed like a more solid business plan that aggregating blog entries, and perhaps the â€œlistingâ€ tag served more as a way to get bloggers talking than as a core strategy.”
Fair enough, but it still seems like a completely different approach to me. Maybe it makes more sense, maybe not. It looks like opening it up to all kinds of classified services has boosted the number of listings — to more than 100 million, according to the stats on the site, in over 14,000 cities and 140 countries — but possibly at the expense of utility. Searching for cars, for example, brings pages full of results from the same commercial auto dealer.
How exactly is that “listings from the edge?” Not what I would call hugely useful so far, and certainly not a Craigslist or eBay-killer. Venturebeat has more detail if you’re interested, and Fraser Kelton has some interesting thoughts in my comments section.