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LiveDeal, cutting live deals


livedeal_logo2.gifLiveDeal, the Santa Clara online classified site, which has plenty of competition, has managed anyway to raise $4.9 million in funding.

As we mentioned last time (see comments too), LiveDeal's VP of corporate development, Steve Harmon, may a controversial past, but he is good at cutting deals. Indeed, the company says it has formed joint venture with Torstar, a big Canadian media company, which is also the lead investor in the round. Torstar will offer a version of LiveDeal in Canada later this year, the company said. Bill Draper also invested.

In April, the company said it was aiming to raise $7 million to $10 million. But now the company tells VentureWire (sorry, subscription required) that it lowered the Series B funding target to $4 million as a result of...

the Torstar deal: "So the immediate need for cash is much less than what we thought it was," said chief executive Rajesh Nazar.

Still, we're not sure what this company is doing that is different. It tells VentureWire that it is specializing in things that are difficult or impossible to ship, such as pets and real estate -- and that this makes it different than eBay or Craigslist. Ok, pets maybe (Update: Although a reader points out Petsoogle.com; this is beginning to feel like 1999). But real estate -- one of us (Matt) bought his house on Craigslist. And there are all kinds of homes being sold on eBay. Or maybe we're missing something?

Update: Though there is a casualty in this crowded space of online classifieds. Chief executive at Pleasanton's Swapstar, Robert Coackley, has stepped down, according to VentureWire.

Coackley, reached by phone, said he stepped down "a couple of weeks ago." He said he could not provide details on why he left, saying only, "you know how these things go."

...Coackley said Swapstar has been trying to raise a Series A round of $2 million to $3 million in funding since last August, with the goal of closing the round around Thanksgiving, in late November. "It was shaping up quite well," he said, though he added that it is difficult to interest venture capitalists in Internet-related consumer markets.

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They definitely would have had some USP to raise $4.9mil in funding unless the investors have never heard of eBay and CL.
Anyhow, congrats Matt on the new house :)


Startups.in on October 26, 2005 9:20 AM
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From what I see, livedeal is just craigslist without community filtering. Because of this, they seem to be a haven for puppy mill breeders and other sketchy people.

Chris on October 26, 2005 9:52 AM
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recently i had the displeasure of meeting steve harmon. he was full of himself and couldn't wait to brag about the torstar deal. i see it less as a credit to him as a dealmaker but as a way to safe his job at livedeal. -frank

frank on October 26, 2005 3:50 PM
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Looks like a bunch of gossip and personal attacks fills Matt's blog, with random grenades thrown at anyone Matt doesn't like. The last post claims to be from "Chris" but is signed "frank" -- yeah, right. Last time Matt said raising cash would be hard. This time after cash is raised he is shown to be non-informed and a casual observer. Get a life Matt.

Roger Myers on October 28, 2005 11:08 AM
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apparently roger, you don't know how to read comments but have decided to post your own anyway. chris' comment was second from the top while my comment was third. let me know if you need more help. -frank

frank on November 1, 2005 7:22 PM
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Come on guys take a break !!!

eBay is too expensive and CL buyer/seller experience is terrible with a lot of spam and porn.

I have had great success using LiveDeal and it is a great company founded by credible executives .. folks from ebay, forddirect.com and other leading companies...I am happy they are there as eBay and CL need competition otherwise there will be a monopoly and prices will only increase.

LiveDeal will give eBay and CL a run for their money...

david on November 3, 2005 10:24 PM
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Also I have followed all of LiveDeal's press releases and announcements and Steve Harmon seems to be in the middle of all their deals and success stories... Steve is a very brightand successful guy and you need to stop cribbing and give credit when it is due... Otherwise you only come across as jealous of others' successes...

david on November 3, 2005 10:28 PM
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It seems these investors haven't seen www.edirection.com till now. They could have saved more than half of their invested money since the overhead at edirection.com is much less than than at livedeal as per my audit 2 months back and it's a classy website .. just lacking funds & marketing!

James on November 11, 2005 7:01 PM
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I was a big fan of livedeal.com until I saw www.edirection.com. Their site is much better. They must have hooked up with a bigger VC. :)

Alvin on November 17, 2005 8:39 PM
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With the amount of competition in this Classifieds market, some of there players will have to merge.

Sam on December 20, 2005 9:13 AM
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