It’s no secret crazed eBay bidders generate a lot of sales in the last few minutes of an auction–maybe other Internet sites can add that same money-generating frenzy.
The mobile commerce startup behind eBay’s last-minute cell phone bidding system, UnWired Buyer says it has received a second round of funding for $6.1 million that will expand its current offer with eBay and could eventually help add more Internet commerce partners.
UnWired Buyer’s President and CTO Eric Smith says that the company’s auction service is already being used by “tens of thousands” of bidders through eBay, and that the company is looking to add more partners in the future.
While Eric didn’t confirm any deals, he mentioned Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and even business-to-business sites, as possible targets for partnership.
Expanding beyond eBay might not be too hard. The service is flexible and easy to use for a lot of applications, given the company uses basic phone calls, out-bound-only calls, and VoIP for part of the back-end infrastructure to keep costs down. For any application that requires time sensitivity and inventory scarcity the service could add that last minute bidding craze over mobile.
For eBay, Smith says UnWired’s data shows that the service adds 17% to the value of the auction in the last 3 minutes–in addition he says when an UnWired bidder enters the bid, 26% of the time that auction had no bidders before it.
On those figures alone, Smith says the service helps Internet commerce sites by bringing in more sales. But eBay also
takes pays a fixed fee every time an actionable auction happens. And the ebay users that are turning to UnWired are the hard-core users that buy on average 14 to 36 items per year, the company says. That gives Internet commerce companies a high incentive to keep those customers happy.
The company, which was formerly called gNumber, has now raised a total of $7.5 million to date, from Texas-based firms, Accent Texas Fund I, Aegis Texas Venture Fund, and DFJ Mercury. The round was led by Gefinor Ventures. Not all the money being thrown around comes from the Valley, the Long Star state has been heating up too!