Seattle-based Judy’s Book, an early player in local search and commerce, has laid off most of its employees and is seeking a buyer, reports Seattle PI. The company, which has raised a total of $10.5 million since its founding in 2004, originally launched to provide community recommendations for local service providers (dentists, plumbers, etc.) but shifted gears towards local shopping when that didn’t gain traction. CEO and founder Andy Sack, who previously sold startups to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and the New York Times (NYSE: NYT), said he will stay with the company while it looks for a buyer. Of course, the move comes as plenty of large companies and startups are doing similar things, so it’s likely that a buyer will emerge.
Andy Sack explains more on his blog: “We’ve (I’ve) made plenty of mistakes along the way with Judy’s Book, but our decision last year to focus on local shopping wasn’t one of them. Greg Sterling has been more eloquent about this opportunity than I’ll ever be, but I’m certain the ideas we’re pursuing here at Judy’s Book will ultimately become a significant piece of the online and local shopping puzzle, and I’m sorry that I and my team won’t be the ones to carry the ball across the finish line.”