TheFind Buys Glimpse: Now Startups Are Seeking Retail Therapy

[qi:076] The big boys may have opted to spend this summer lounging around at the beach, but the startups have apparently decided to seek out some retail therapy. Today, for example, social shopping service TheFind.com said it will buy women’s fashion shopping site Glimpse.com for an undisclosed amount of money. My bet is that TheFind is bulking up to compete with rivals such as Kaboodle, which now has the backing of magazine giant Hearst Corp.

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Glimpse isn’t the first tiny tot to be gobbled up by a better-funded startup. Earlier this summer, Facebook bought Parakey; Slide.com, in order to get a bigger share of the Facebook ecosystem, acquired up Peeps.com; and Sidestep, a social networking site for travel, purchased TripUp in a bid to get some of its own Facebook traction.

Given the current startup landscape, tiny deals such as these make sense. There are too many players out there, most with marginal traction. Some of them, however, have a lot of money, and in order to grow quickly they’re choosing to go the route of acquisitions, undoubtedly with the hope that additional traffic and users will help them stand out from the pack.

While these tiny deals don’t seem to be anything new, we are seeing some increase in buyout activity. The venture investments have snapped back from the turn of the decade slump. Many older consumer Internet start-ups such as TheFind have recently concluded raising big dollars as part of their Series B rounds of financing, and are now looking for new ways to grow.

(Additional reporting by Liz Gannes.)

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