Hearst Acquires Kaboodle

    August 8, 2007

Never mind the kit: Kaboodle alone costs over $30 million.  That’s the social shopping community’s rumored price tag, anyway, following an acquisition by Hearst Corp.; Kenneth A. Bronfin, the president of Hearst Interactive Media, explained that his company thinks Kaboodle “will bring to social shopping what MySpace has brought to social media.”

Onlookers seem to agree, at least to some extent.  While covering the deal, Under the Radar voiced its support for Kaboodle.  And Read/WriteWeb’s Richard MacManus wrote, “Kaboodle leads the social shopping pack, with a clean UI and the most comprehensive feature set.  It also appeared to have more traffic than the others.  So Hearst bought the right one!”

The Hearst deal shouldn’t lead to any major changes in Kaboodle’s setup; instead, a press release hints at the integration of some magazine content, and given the scope of Hearst’s kingdom (Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, etc.), that ought to work out just fine.  In fact, the CEO and founder of Kaboodle, Manish Chandra, believes “[t]his partnership will provide Kaboodle the flexibility and resources necessary to continue building the premier social shopping platform.”

Kaboodle already receives over 2 million unique visitors per month; don’t be surprised if that number rises significantly following the implementation of Hearst’s plans.  The shopping site won’t be the only beneficiary here, however – a new report predicts that newspapers (in which Hearst has a significant stake) will soon be outpaced by online advertising.