Twitter and Credit Cards Not A Good Mix (Forbes)   Leave a comment

Blippy, the service that was backed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, allowed users to announce and share their purchases with credit cards on Twitter. But, despite prestigious venture capital backing and a cute name, the service never caught on and is now being shut down.

The concept was to create a new social ecommerce platform where registered users could broadcast their credit card purchases on Twitter and share the thrill of the purchase with friends and others in the Blippy community. Customers could “tweet” their receipts so every time they bought a pair of shoes, IPAD, or even a movie ticket, they could share the experience and get feedback in the form of comments or reviews from other Blippy users. The idea was interesting, but customers didn’t bite. The site attracted only 100,000 registered users, and of that, only 30% used Blippy’s services to share data.

Blippy is based in Silicon Valley and backed by leading venture capital firms and angel investors including Charles River Ventures, August Capital, Sequoia Capital, Ron Conway, Philip Kaplan, Evan Williams, Jason Calacanis, James Hong, and Ariel Poler.

According to, the company was valued at $46.2M last year. Management says Blippy is not folding, but rather using what it learned to initiate some new projects. It will not be using its resources to continue Blippy in its current business model, however.

The model never took off with consumers as people are growing more cautious about sharing their personal information online. The growth of identity theft around the world has created an unwillingness to expose personal data, especially for recreational purposes.

Blippy actually had a small security leak and that may have contributed to the demise of the once-touted service.

Ashvin Kumar, CEO of Blippy, was quoted on as stating: “The decision was whether to focus Blippy on mobile products or try something new and we made the decision that we wanted to try something new…Our key product metrics haven’t gone up, we iterated a lot but not enough to create significant user adoption, at least not enough to warrant us spending more time on it.”

Blippy’s story is evidence that start-ups’s are cyclical. Just In April 2010, the company was worth approximately $42.million.  In January 2010, the Twitter for Credit Card Company raised $1.6 million in seed capital from big names such as Sequoia Capital, Charles River Ventures and Chief executive Arie Poler. Investor’s such as Sequoia’s Roelof Botha and William’s were customers.
Analogous to most new companies, when media paid attention traffic grew. Otherwise, the company struggled.  Blippy also has privacy issues. Many credit card transactions were erroneously exposed. Before the company could establish an updated security plan, a problem occurred with the electronic portion that protects against fraud.

Blippy is not giving up just yet.  The company is working hard to learn from their mistakes and create new projects. Plans are in the works, which they have not discussed yet.


Posted May 28, 2011 by ilanamelissagreene in Uncategorized

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